Nostalgia | Santa's Cookies

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A favorite holiday tradition for those with children has to be setting out cookies for Santa on 
Christmas Eve. It's certainly an undeniable treat when opening stocking in the morning for adults too. While store bought cookies are easy, we like the idea of baking with the family the night before. One of the best recipes we've tried has to be one made infamous through urban legend - the $250 Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. Story goes that a customer and her daughter ordered the treats at the Neiman Marcus cafe and loved them so much, they asked for the recipe. The waitress checked, and to receive the recipe, a "two fifty" charge would be added to her bill. The women obliged, thinking $2.50 was quite the steal. Thirty days later, going over her bill, the woman noticed a rogue $250 charge on her bill. One customer service call later, she realized it was for the chocolate chip recipe. The note could not be reversed, so the woman decided to share the recipe with everyone so no one would have to pay such a hefty price for a cookie. It's all urban legend, of course, but it is one heck of a cookie. 

Yields about 2 dozen cookies
½ cup (one stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla for 30 seconds longer, until well combined.
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixer, while beating on slow speed., Beat for about 15 seconds, stir in the chocolate chips and espresso powder, and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Prepare a cookie sheet with about 2 tablespoons of shortening (or use a non-stick spray). Using a 1-ounce scoop, or using a 2 tablespoon measure, drop the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet in dollops about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into 2-inch circles; there should be room on the sheet of six or eight cookies at a time. Transfer to the oven in batches and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cookies are nicely browned around the edges. Bake for a little longer for crispier cookies.


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