I’m going to cop to a few facts here. These brownies:
- with the exception of a few minor tweaks, are an exact replica of the recipe created Gaby Dalkin for her blog What’s Gaby Cooking. Don’t mess with perfection. Unless you’re adding espresso powder and swapping in bittersweet chocolate.
- were not meant to be eaten solely after winter sledding activities. Although this would make an optimal time for consumption.
- are the tastiest baked good you’ve ever laid eyes on. Although if you’re one of those hedonists foolish/brilliant enough to wait 2 hours for a Dominque Ansel original cronut, you may have encountered a baking miracle a ½ notch above this.
Here’s another admission: these aren’t really called Sledding Brownies. Meander over to Gaby’s website looking for “Sledding Brownies” and you’ll get an ominous looking “NO RESULTS FOUND”. SO JUST BE AWARE OF THAT AND READ ON. I WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS IN DUE TIME. But do visit Gaby’s website for all manner of delicious food. Really, she has everything: gluttonous treats and healthy eats. Check out her roundup of 10 healthy dishes to start 2015 before you get into trouble with the molasses cookies and brown sugar blondies.
I saw Gaby post these brownies a few months ago, and they’ve been a bee in my bonnet ever since. I hesitate to use that expression since my Dad’s ex girlfriend used it ad nauseum when she referred to a vexing list of nonessential needs. His bathroom needed fluffier towels! The bedroom walls required a crisper shade of white! The masonry over the fireplace!!! Well, couldn’t you see that it wasn’t wide enough? So, with that…brownies, chocolate cookie layer, Oreo-stuffed. [bzzzz]
My parents were at the lake over Christmas, and every time my Mum comes to visit, she brings two bags of Oreo cookies. These aren’t just ordinary Oreo cookies. They’re Canadian Oreos. Made with different ingredients altogether. The center is creamier, the cookie layers, richer. If you don’t believe me, I urge you to write to Kraft or Mondelēz or whatever they’re calling themselves these days and ask them why the Canadian version is superior.
Or, if putting pen to paper seems like an arduous task, enlist your favorite Canadian friend/relative/Parliament Member to send you a box and conduct a taste test in the privacy of your own home.
That’s what we did. Double blind. Rodney + the kids acted as the official judging panel to ensure accuracy and more important, eat the leftovers. The Canadian Oreos won by a landslide.
So there we were, up at the lake over Christmas, a sleeve or two of Canadian Oreos still remained after my parents’ visit. As luck would have it, we got a last-minute invite to a neighborhood New Year’s Eve party along with a suggestion to bring an “appy” and dessert.
Alas, our chance to create this divine baked good had arrived. I had all of the ingredients: the Oreos, the cocoa powder, enough unsalted butter to lube up a bodybuilder. It was game on.
“Kids!” I said. “We’re making Slu—uh, nevermind. We’re making Sledding brownies.
“What are sledding brownies Mom?”
“They’re brownies that you make in case you’re going sledding. But we’re just making them for the party.”
And with that, I engaged three kids in a PG baking session. We made our cookie layer, we laid the Oreos, and last of all, we drowned the whole thing in brownie batter. Baked in the oven for 40 minutes and wa-boom, they were done.
The worst part about sledding brownies is that you have to wait an hour or two for them to set before cutting them into squares. Which is fine by me (I’m not often one to eat my own baking) but try mentioning that to three kids aged 7 and under.
When the time to cut the brownies arrived, we gathered ceremoniously around the cutting board. I took special care to cut evenly, keeping the Oreos hidden from sight. Then, carefully, removing 1….perhaps 2 or maybe 3…I cut them into quarters so that we could all taste what was promising to be the finest bite of 2014.
I have now swung a full 180 degrees in the opposite direction: from someone who rarely eats her own baking, to someone who needs to be held back with chain-linked handcuffs lest she eat the whole pan.
So, Gaby, and perhaps The Londoner who was the original think tank behind these bad boys, thank you. My life has been forever changed thanks to sledding brownies.
The name, by the way? Let me clarify so that you’re not agonizing over the correct pronunciation.
It starts with S and rhymes with “bloody brownies”. I’ll let you figure it out since one day, my teenaged children may read this post and wonder, why, oh why, was their mother writing about promiscuous brownies.
I’m not. I mean I am…but I’m not. I swear I’m not. But they were good, weren’t they?
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 package of Oreo cookies (Canadian Oreos if you can find them!)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temp)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups AP flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chunks
- Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. When the butter has melted, add the sugar, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Whisk to combine and remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and whisk vigorously until the eggs are combined. Add the flour and continue to mix.
- Set the batter aside and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (approx. 3-4 mins). One at a time, add the egg and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla. Then, a half cup at a time, add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated (making sure to scrape down the bowl). Fold in the chocolate chunks and set aside.
- Line the bottom of a 10x10 baking pan with parchment paper. You can use a 9x9 pan, but I like thinner brownies rather than tall and fudgy.
- Layer the cookie dough on the bottom of the pan, pressing down to form the bottom of the brownies.
- Layer the Oreos in rows. If you’d like to keep the Oreos hidden when you cut, make sure they have some space in between.
- Pour the brownie batter on top of the Oreo layer, smoothing it down to make it even.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if the center is done, giving the brownies a few more minutes if it doesn’t come out clean.
- Let the brownies rest before cutting – at least an hour to get nice even slices.