What are slutty brownies, and where did they come from? You might be surprised by the answer, which involves a stolen recipe for the ultimate brownie bar!
The first time I ran into “slutty” brownies, I was on Twitter early in the morning searching for brownie recipes to share. I thought to myself, “What an odd name for brownies!” and let it go for the moment.
Later that night, when I had a little time to myself, I started looking for a slutty brownies recipe so I could see what all the fuss was about. Several blog posts about slutty brownies kept popping up no matter which search engine I used. One was on a blog called The Londoner, the other was on a blog called What’s Gaby Cooking.
First, I read the slutty brownie post from What’s Gaby Cooking. Gaby’s blog post actually credited the Londoner post as the originator of the slutty brownie recipe. Next, I pulled up the slutty brownie post from The Londoner. It seemed to be an original recipe for brownies made with a layer of cookie dough on the bottom, a layer of Oreos in the middle, and a layer of brownie batter on top.
My curiosity piqued, I started reading through the large volume of comments to see what people thought of the recipe and the title. There seemed to be generally positive feelings for both. One comment, however, caught my eye. The commenter stated that the original recipe came from a blog called Kevin and Amanda.
I clicked back to What’s Gaby Cooking and scanned those comments as well. Sure enough, another commenter made the same claim: that the recipe did not originate with The Londoner, but in fact originated with Kevin and Amanda.
I ran a quick search for “slutty brownies” and “Kevin and Amanda.” Oddly, there was no result that came from the Kevin and Amanda blog, indication that there was nothing titled “Slutty Brownies” on that particular blog. There were, however, a number of posts titled “Slutty Brownies” on other blogs that also pointed back to Kevin and Amanda. I followed one of those recipe credits back to Kevin and Amanda, where I found a recipe called… wait for it…
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar, published May 27, 2011. With nary a loose woman in sight, I might add.
Thus, the original recipe was titled exactly what you see above. Definitely brownies- but certainly not slutty. There was no hint of what it would become on June 23, 2011, when a nearly identical recipe entitled “Slutty Brownies” appeared on The Londoner.
I e-mailed Amanda to ask if she was the originator of the brownie recipe with the layer of cookie dough on the bottom, the Oreos in the middle, and brownies on top. She very kindly replied to confirm that the recipe was indeed originally created by her, and that I could show her photo on this post.
I also e-mailed Rosie, author of The Londoner, to find out if she had seen the recipe on Kevin and Amanda before renaming it Slutty Brownies, or if she had come by the recipe in some other way. As of this writing, I haven’t heard back from her.
Back when I first saw the photos and recipes for “Slutty Brownies,” I didn’t find the recipe that appealing. In fact, it kind of turned me off. I rationalized it by saying that it was the texture that threw me. I like cookies that not only have the taste of cookies but the shape and texture of cookies. And I like Oreos when they’re a bit crunchy, but not when they’ve gone soft. So that’s why I thought that the texture was why the brownies didn’t appeal to me.
Then I saw Kevin and Amanda’s recipe, with its completely different title: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar.
Something in my mind shifted. I looked at the photo you see above, and suddenly they looked tasty. Given, it’s a beautiful photo, but that’s not what changed my mind.
This requires a little explanation, so bear with me for a moment. There’s a quote from Confucius that I love, and although it can be translated in several ways, here’s the most common one.
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.
This can also be said as “calling things by their right names.” When I saw those brownies called by their right name, the weight of distaste lifted from my shoulders, and, like magic, those very same brownies that didn’t appeal before now looked good enough to eat.
Why is that? If it was simply the fact that the texture didn’t appeal to me, that wouldn’t change upon seeing them called by a different name.
No, the truth was that deep down, I didn’t like the idea of labeling something beautiful, sweet, and richly satisfying as “slutty.” But I may be in the minority here, because although both posts got a huge amount of social shares, the “slutty brownies” version got 52,000 shares on Facebook, more than four times as many shares as those generated by Kevin and Amanda’s original recipe.
Why is calling something “slutty” more appealing and more shareable than calling something what it actually is? I’m willing to bet that those shares were mostly by women. Is it our way of trying to reclaim a derogatory word? Are we trying exorcise our ambivalence about the pursuit of pleasure on its most basic levels?
Now that I’ve given you some food for thought (I’ve been saving that one up!), I’m going to go bake some Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bars.
Because the enjoyment of brownies- no matter how full of Oreos and cookie dough they are- is something that you should never be ashamed of.