Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe: The Mrs. Fields Cookies Hoax
"Mrs. Fields" Cookies
I clearly remember the first Mrs. Fields cookie I ever ate. The year was 1986 and I was a recent college graduate on the hunt for a job. Not much was turning up, so while I job searched, I took a part-time temporary holiday position at Bloomingdale's in Dallas.
Admittedly, it was not my ideal job, being on my feet all day and dealing with some rather ill-mannered customers, but it had one really delicious perk - free Mrs. Fields cookies on the store's third floor at closing.
Wow. Those cookies melted in my mouth and without a doubt, were the best chocolate chip cookies I had eaten in a long time, if not ever. Interestingly, about a year later, a friend gave me a paper with a chocolate chip cookie recipe claiming to be for Mrs. Fields cookies.
The story told how the woman who originally purchased the Mrs. Fields cookie recipe thought she was paying $2.50 for it when she was told it would cost "two-fifty." It turned out to be $250, and according to the story, she copied the recipe and gave it to everyone she knew and asked them to pass it along, all pre-computer era of course. Later, it was said that this particular recipe for Mrs. Fields cookies was a hoax.
Intrigued, I baked a batch and clearly they were not from the same recipe as the shop in Bloomingdale's, but they were very delicious nonetheless.
Two special ingredients set these cookies apart from other recipes:
- Hershey chocolate candy bars
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 cups oats, powdered in blender
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 Hershey candy bars (1.5 oz. each), chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream butter in a large bowl.
- Add both sugars to butter; mix.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract; stir and set bowl aside.
- In a blender, powder the oats.
- In a smaller bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Add the powdered oat to the flour bowl; mix.
- Gradually add the flour/oat mixture to the butter and sugar mixture.
- Chop the Hershey chocolate bars.
- Add the chopped candy bar and the chocolate chips to the cookie dough.
- Drop by large spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake approximately 8 minutes.
Step by Step Recipe with PicturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
About Mrs. Fields
In case you are unaware, there really is a Mrs. Fields behind the worldwide cookie empire. With a lot of drive and determination, Debbi Fields opened her first cookie shop, Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chippery, in 1977 in Palo Alto, California.
Naysayers, including her husband Randy, thought there was no way her cookie-only business model would ever succeed, but Debbi Fields proved them wrong one cookie at a time.
Diversifying beyond solely selling chocolate chip cookies, the business name was changed to simply, Mrs. Fields. In her cookbook, I Love Chocolate, Fields defines the secret to her business success:
I knew I loved making cookies and every time I did, I made people happy. That was my business plan.
Listed by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the "16 Legendary Women Entrepreneurs," Debbi Fields created a $450-million company that she sold to private investors in 1993. According to mrsfields.com, today there are over 390 locations in the U.S. and more than 80 internationally.
While most people have their own best chocolate chip cookie recipe, one thing is for sure - Debbie Fields is one smart cookie.