Funny Brownies

I run a cookie recipe site and was doing some research to see what keywords and phrases people are searching for in the cookie recipe realm. Researching “brownies” was an eye opener.

It seems that a whole lot of people out there are searching for recipes for brownies that carry an extra payload in the form of a plant that is, shall we say, a prized member of the hemp family. My, my.

Personally, I don’t know why anyone would want to adulterate good chocolate with pot—or for that matter, why anyone other than a horse would eat grass rather than smoke it (not that I admit to any personal experience, mind you)—but hey, different strokes and all that. If you are looking for illegally enhanced brownie recipes, just hit Google and you’ll find plenty of them. If you just want great brownies, minus the mind-altering substances, try my Classic Chocolate Brownies recipe.

Oddly enough, I do have a genuine cookbook recipe for a pot-enhanced dessert, though it’s for fruit and nut fudge, not brownies. It is from The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book, first published in 1954 and reissued in 1984 and again in 1998. Yes, that Alice B. Toklas, the secretary and lifelong companion of writer Gertrude Stein. Tucked in amongst the reminiscences of life in France and the recipes for chocolate mousse and oysters Mornay is a recipe for Haschich (sic) Fudge. I offer it here purely as a historical curiosity, since bringing this to the family potluck could get you arrested in the United States (and many other countries).

Toklas explains wryly that her fudge “might provide an entertaining refreshment for a Ladies’ Bridge Club or a chapter meeting of the DAR: “Euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter; ecstatic reveries and extensions of one’s personality on several simultaneous planes are to be complacently expected…”

Her recipe: “Take 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coriander. These should all be pulverised in a mortar. About a handful each of stoned dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of canibus sativa can be pulverised. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient.”

I don’t know. I think I’d stick with brownies.