The story about the cookie recipe has special meaning to me because when shopping in Nieman-Marcus with my mother some time before Christmas back in the 80s this almost happened to us. Tasty cookies were being served and we asked about the recipe. The clerk responded that it cost "two fifty". We both thought that was cheap since the place was swank and they could have printed it nicely in magazine format or something and charged from five to fifty dollars for it that way. We spoke out loud to each other about these thoughts, and the clerk clarified that it cost two hundred fifty dollars. We were both somewhat stunned, but also convinced that the $250 price sounded more like what we expected from the store. We did not buy the recipe, though we did spend a lot of money on that visit.
Now I find that my direct personal experience is considered mythic. Because there was no written offer and no transaction only my mother and I and the clerk could corroborate this, and no proof is available. There are a few explanations that come to mind: The manager or clerk in the store could have a profoundly subtle sense of humor. Society could be helping a department store cover up an embarrassment regarding how prices were set and communicated. The similarity to an enduring story of overcharge is quite interesting. It seems possible that the department store chose this approach in order to discredit any complaints, but my guess is that this is all just bizarre coincidence. In any case, though most would believe otherwise, because of my direct personal experience I claim this story has elements of truth, however legendary it may be now.Here are links to more information about the $250 cookie recipe: Claim Counterclaim From the Source