The Herbivore: Pot Brownies Get A Much-Needed Makeover for 2018

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The infamous pot brownie: we've all experienced the boxed-chocolate powder, gooey texture, and undeniable skunky flavor. Baking pot brownies is a sort of coming-of-age in the cooking with cannabis world. Powdered brownie mix and assorted cannabis shake (an assortment of plant matter including leaves, stems and nug pieces) represent the classic pot brownie ingredient list. Unfortunately, most often, dosages are off -- resulting in hardly noticeable effects or in paranoia-inducing excess. The final result doesn't always taste that great either.

As we move away from the stoner stereotypes of times past and enter into an era where medicating with cannabis is common and more normalized than ever, the ubiquitous pot brownie deserves an update. This month's installation of The Herbivore begins with the familiarity of a classic medicated brownie and brings it firmly into 2018: creamy cannabutter, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, and coconut sugar in lieu of traditional white sugar. These brownies are a mature, healthful and refined take on the pot-brownies of the past — we could hardly resist licking the bowl!

A note about baking: Many of our recipes are easily adjustable based on desires or taste. Baking is a little different. Think about baking like a chemistry experiment -- slight adjustments (even just a teaspoon here and there) will yield different results. Unless you're an experienced baker (send us advice!), we recommend sticking to the directions below.

To start, let's talk about cannabutter.

This is a necessary asset to any cannabis cook's kitchen & can be used for nearly all baking recipes. For 3/4 cups of cannabutter, you'll need 1/8 cup of finely milled cannabis trim. You may want to remove any bigger stems or leaves that will end up in the final batch. You'll also need 3/4 cup of unsalted butter (about 1 1/2 sticks).

  • Preheat the oven to 240 degrees F.
  • Spread the trim evenly on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes (this step decarboxylates the cannabis -- aka activating the THC! Using raw cannabis won't do much besides adding a dank flavor. We're assuming that you want the head and body effects of the THC 😉 ).
  • Set decarboxylated cannabis aside.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add baked cannabis & simmer over low-medium heat for 45 minutes.
  • Strain butter-cannabis mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a mixing bowl.
  • Set aside additional plant matter for future recipes.
Now that you have your cannabutter, let's prepare the brownie mixture.

To begin, you'll need the following supplies:

  • 1 9x13 non-stick baking pan. Add a layer of parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (here's why we use cocoa powder instead of fresh chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • Dark chocolate chips for toppings
  • For an optional boost of protein: 1/2 cup walnuts
  • For an optional minty addition: 1/4 cup minced mint leaves

Directions:

Gently combine the cannabutter, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Add eggs one at a time and stir until fully incorporated. Then, add in the cocoa powder, baking powder, and flour. Continue mixing until the batter has a smooth, creamy consistency. Mix in walnuts or mint at this step, if using.

Spread batter evenly across baking sheet. Sprinkle a generous handful of dark chocolate chips across the top.

Bake brownie mixture for 25-30 minutes, until a knife can be inserted and removed clean.

Brownies are best eaten warm (of course!), but they can also be kept in the fridge for a week. Keeping them in the freezer will prolong freshness for two months. Top with Cream Boutique's medicated vanilla ice cream for a decadent treat.

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