I know you’re probably reading this and you’re wondering “Oh my goodness, why is this student making slutty brownies. Where could he have possibly gotten this idea from?” Just are with me, there’s a story behind it. I decided to go with slutty brownies because it’s technically my successful pastry dish that I’ve done on my own. I have done different cakes in the past, but I always needed assistance from others (usually females). I picked this because the first time I had one, it was improvised. My friends and I had a dinner together and we cooked the food. For dessert my friend Kamyra decided to have slutty brownies. It had brownie dough, oreo cookies, and cookie dough in it. At first I didn’t want that much chocolate in a brownie because I don’t really eat a lot of sweets. I wanted to throw snickers on top of it to make it more appealing to me. In high school, there’s this girl we called “chef lex” who was the best at making snicker brownies so that was the only way I’d eat it the dessert. We ended up having a whole argument about it but we decided to compromise on putting the snicker on one side of the pan for however wanted to eat it. The funny thing is she ended liking the snicker side better. All of our friends did but no one wanted to give me credit expect for my boy Chandler. Afterwards I made it myself for a separate potluck occasion and it was a big hit by everyone. Between those two experiences, I’ve since made it my signature dessert.
Funny story right? However even with such a heartwarming background, what does this have to do with sustainability? Better question, are my friendly, very friendly brownies sustainable? Well, shall we define sustainability again. Sustainability is focusing on meeting the needs of the present without affecting the future. When I really think about this definition, I can not truthfully say that my dish is sustainable, but the way you make it does contribute to how sustainable it is. In the Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan talks about health problems that plague America today. He says, “According to the surgeon general, obesity today is officially an epidemic; it is arguably the most pressing public health problem we face, costing the healthcare system an estimated $90 billion a year. Three of every five Americans are overweight; one of every five is obese. The disease formerly known as adult-onset diabetes has had to be renamed Type II diabetes since it now occurs so frequently in children. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association predicts that a child born in 2000 has a one-in-three chance of developing diabetes. (An African American child’s chances are two in five. ) Because of diabetes and all the other health problems that accompany obesity, today’s children may turn out to be the first generation of Americans whose life expectancy will actually be shorter than that of their parents. The problem is not limited to America: The United Nations reported that in 2000 the number of people suffering from overnutrition — a billion — had officially surpassed the number suffering from malnutrition — 800 million.” Because of this citing and the fact that my dish is a contributing factor towards diabetes, it can’t be sustainable. It affects the social part of the sustainable atmosphere hurting it and because it contributes to health problems that could be fatal, it fails to meet the needs while simultaneously affecting the future. You have to remind yourself however that this is a brownie and it’s not like you’re forced to eat it. For most people, brownies are more so wants anyways. Just because my dish isn’t over all sustainable, does that mean there aren’t aspects of sustainability? Being able to make my brownies with premade cookie dough and brownie mix is personally more sustainable for me because I can save money without compromising the meal. Also, making the dish from scratch is more sustainable because it’s healthier without messing too much with the taste and final outcome of the dish. When trying to make it completely sustainable with substitutes such as vegan eggs, stevia in place of sugar and himalayan salt, unsweetened chocolate chips, this is were it because expensive and probably messes with the dynamics of the dish as a whole.
Not revising the recipe would keep it economically and equitable but you could argue the brownie mix and pre done cookie dough isn’t very ecological since it may not use 100% organic or natural ingredients. At the end of the day, it’s about what you want. It’s important to know coming in that this brownie isn’t the most healthy or sustainable food to eat. However, if you remember that it’s better in small increments and shouldn’t be consumes on a regular basis you’ll be fine. It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while, go enjoy yourselves.
- 1 pound chocolate chip cookie dough
- 16 Oreo cookies
- 1 box brownie mix (plus whatever extra ingredients the mix calls for)
- 1 bag of fun size snickers
If you would like to attempt to make the recipe healthier and more sustainable, you could argue that making it from scratch would be better, but you run into the issue of spending more money on a dish that may have a different taste. Also since buying prepared ingredients such as brownies and cookie dough, you save time on your dish. Making everything from scratch with different substitutes might be more harmful on a broader scale because you might have to drive to different stores to find specific ingredients. However, by using substitutes and making your dessert from scratch, you cut out preservatives that can be harmful and calories brought on by the sugars and the dairy that both have so harmful unsustainable history. Regardless, fill free to try this more sustainable option (depending on your views)
- 16 Oreo cookies
- 1 bag of fun size snickers
FOR THE BROWNIE BATTER
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 vegan egg substitutes
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup Valrhona cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Fair Trade semisweet chocolate chips (or sugar-free chocolate chips)
Cookie Dough from scratch
- ¾ cup Stevia
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 vegan egg substitutes
- 2 ¼ cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 9×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
- Spread cookie dough in an even layer on the bottom. Top with Oreos in an even layer.
- Mix brownie batter according to package instructions; spread on top.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before cutting into 16 even squares.
Sustainability (Making the dough and batter from scratch)
- In a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt butter. Add chocolate and stir until melted.
- Remove bowl from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, lightly beat together sugar substitutes, vegan eggs, vanilla, and salt until combined.
- Stir in reserved chocolate mixture. Add flour and cocoa and stir until just combined. Use this batter to make one of the variations listed above
- Mix sugar substitutes, butter, vanilla and vegan eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips.