When first working on this post, I honestly felt a little guilty about using “slutty” brownies as a reference to a work by the late, great Édouard Manet. Turns out Manet, the genius French Realist and Impressionist painter, died of pretty embarrassing circumstances – syphilis and gangrene when he was 51. Yikes! Now I feel slightly less guilty and inappropriate!
These brownies are out of this world – a bit like my admiration for this beautiful painting, which was Manet’s last major work. Exhibited in the 1882 Paris salon, A Bar at the Folies-Bergére depicts a barmaid, who is also a prostitute, in the elaborate dancehall/variety show venue. This work has various illusions throughout – starting with the barmaid. She is the central figure in the work, and stands before a mirror. She is seen straight on, looking right at the viewer, and noticeably sullen and remote. At the same time, on the right side, it also looks like she is speaking to the gentleman in the top hat. This is actually a trick of the mirror – the man is actually farther away to the left, and not even looking at the barmaid. Crazy!
It’s possible that the illusion of the barmaid interacting with the man is him propositioning her. After all, she is a prostitute-bartender at a nightclub known for women of her profession – she can be purchased along with a drink. Manet exhibited this as the Paris Salon, the official exhibition of the French Academy of Fine Arts, and in doing so, presented an immoral subject to high society fine art. Like Manet’s work, these brownies are inappropriate and provocative. They get their name from the trio of delicious flavors: oreo, brownie and cookie – a sugary threesome! Run, don’t walk to your kitchen, and make these awesome treats immediately! They are rich, chocolatey and dense, and unlike paintings by Manet, they are a super affordable masterpiece!
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
pinch of salt
½ cup flour
1 box oreos, either original or vanilla (you won’t use the whole box!)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Reese’s Pieces
Put together the brownie layer first:
In a medium metal bowl, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sugars and cocoa powder, and remove from heat. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then add the vanilla and eggs and whisk until smooth. Stir in the flour and salt until combined, and set the batter aside.
Next, tackle the cookie layer:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars for a minute or two. Stir in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry mix to the wet in a couple of additions, and only mix until combined.
Line a square brownie pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Spread the cookie layer into the pan first, and use a silicone spatula to create a smooth cookie crust for the brownie. Arrange oreo cookies in an even layer over the cookie. Cover oreos with an even coating the brownie batter and bake on 350°F for 35-40 minutes. Cool for an hour if you can stand it, and dig in!
Recipe adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking
Édouard Manet, Self-Portrait, c. 1878, oil on canvas
Édouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, 1882, oil on canvas