menu

Can you recommend another pie?

Question:

Dear Dean,

I tried your blueberry pie recipe. Can you recommend another? This time, with sugar!

Sincerely, 

Pie-loving Doctoral Student


Answer:

Jan Allen, associate dean for academic and student affairs

Dear Fellow Pie-lover,

Try this one. (We southerners have lots of pie recipes!) And I think this recipe has so much sugar in it that it will make your teeth hurt. You’ve been warned!

I can’t vouch for the recipe’s provenance, but this recipe supposedly is based on the Piccadilly restaurant chain’s famous strawberry pie. (They pile 4 inches of whipped cream on top of theirs; I don’t.). But you should ask me about the urban myth surrounding the famous Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Piccadilly Strawberry Pie

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons white Karo syrup
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry Jello (powder)
  • 9-inch pie shell (I prefer graham cracker crust pie shell)*

Mix water, sugar, cornstarch, and Karo. Place on stove and let boil until it very noticeably thickens. While still hot, add Jello powder to the mixture and stir. Set aside and let cool. Bake a 9-inch pie shell. After both have cooled, pour a layer of the mixture and a layer of dry sliced fresh strawberries alternately until it is all used. Top with Cool Whip or whipped cream and refrigerate.

*Put 16 graham cracker squares in a plastic food storage food. Double bag it. Then take a glass jar, hammer or heavy stapler and pound the bag until the crackers appear crushed to pulverized. Place the crackers in a glass, ceramic, or metal pie plate. (Some people add a quarter stick of melted butter to help mold the graham crackers into the shape of the pie plate. I don’t bother with the butter and extra calories.)

Sincerely, 

Jan Allen


Follow Up Email

Question:

Dear Dean Allen,

Thank you for the recipe. What is the famous Neiman Marcus cookie recipe? 

Best wishes, 

Pie-lover AND cookie-lover


Answer:

Dear Pie and Cookie-lover,

Here’s the answer and the recipe.

You may have heard this story: Two ladies were having lunch at a Neiman Marcus department store restaurant when one of them asked their waitress if she could have the famous Neiman Marcus cookies recipe. The waitress replied, “Yes, but I’ll have to charge you two-fifty for it.” The woman agreed but was later astounded to find that her Neiman Marcus account had been charged not $2.50 but the enormous sum of $250 for the recipe. She vowed she would share the recipe far and wide to deprive Neiman Marcus of any further revenue for this “two-fifty” cookie recipe.

Actually, Neiman Marcus did not serve or sell chocolate chip cookies when this classic urban legend first began circulating. In fact, the first version of this story can be traced back to 1946 when it was a red velvet fudge cake recipe that the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City sold to an unsuspecting customer for the outrageous price of $25. After the story of the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe began circulating, the Neiman Marcus company developed a cookie recipe (slightly different from the one in the urban legend) and posted it for free for their website. It’s still available if you want it. 

Neiman Marcus's $250 Cookie Recipes

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 5 cups blended oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 24 ounces chocolate chips
  • 3 cups chopped nuts
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 8-ounce grated Hershey candy bar

Measure then blend the oatmeal in a blender to a fine powder. Cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add chips, grated candy bar, and nuts. Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 6 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies. (Recipe can be halved.) 

Best wishes, 

Jan Allen