How to Make the Best Possible Pot Brownies
Some bakers opt for chocolate ganache while others prefer cocoa powder. Both will give you moist and gooey brownies on their own, but combining the two makes them addictively fudge-y and, pot or not, they stand alone. Brownies bake up like an extra-dense cake, and both the pan and the baking time dictate the degree of fudge you end up with. A big wide pan will give you a thick chewy result, whereas will bake up super fast and gain height.
To make Perfect Pot Brownies, we use a slightly more luxe version of King Arthur Flour’s recipe. I like this one because it’s well-tested by professional recipe developers, but forgiving if you want to make tweaks—which we are going to recommend in order to max out the fudge factor. Make your cannabis butter in advance and store it in the freezer, thawing before use. (You can make it the day of; just make sure to give yourself three hours of butter prepping time before you intend to start baking.)
PREPARE CANNABIS INFUSED BUTTER
Total newbies and novices to cannabis baking can rejoice that in 2020 you don’t have to dig deep in the annals of the internet to find some rando’s horrifying attempt from 1996. “Heritage” recipes lean toward the coma-inducingly strong, which most people truly do not find to be a good time. Between devices like The Magical Butter Machine and Levo you can leave (most) of the guesswork to a device and come out with a consistent product prepared to your exact specifications.
We use an easy method (known as sous-vide) where you simply seal up one stick of butter with an eighth of mid-to-high grade finely ground and decarboxylated bud, and heat at 170℉ or 160℉ for an hour or two. Shorter cook times give you more of the early cannabinoids like CBD and THC, as well as preserve the terpenes that give each strain its unique smell and taste. Longer cook times provide sleepier butter that has more CBN, known for couch lock, not to be ignored if you suffer from insomnia.
MAKE THE BROWNIES
1 stick of unsalted butter infused with 3.5 grams of cannabis (see above)
¼ cup vegetable shortening
¾ cup of cocoa powder
1 cup cake flour
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
¼ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
2 jumbo eggs
The insides of one vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 350℉. If you’ve prepped your butter in a sous-vide bag, toss it into a bowl with warm water and let it soften fully before mixing the batter. Baking any brownies, even cannabis brownies, calls for your standard wet bowl, dry bowl batter technique, so start by mixing all of the dry ingredients together. Then, in a second bowl, combine vanilla and eggs.
Melt the chocolate gently with either a double boiler or in a microwave in short bursts. Stir in the shortening into the chocolate until it melts. Stream the chocolate mixture slowly into the eggs and mix with a spatula, then fold in cannabutter. Make sure everything is uniformly mixed without aerating too much.
Fold the wet batter into the combined dry ingredients, and stir this sinfully thick goop again until it’s just mixed. Smooth out the mixture and smack it flat on the counter a few times to make sure there is no air trapped inside.
Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the pan, then bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes. At this point your brownies are warm and edible, but be warned that their structure will come from cooling completely, similar to chocolate chip cookies. If you can’t wait for them to cool completely, at least use a big, sharp knife to cut off a slab so you don’t damage the innards too much. Use the paper to take them out of the pan and cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.
Portion, or don’t, but keep in mind that each 1-inch square will have roughly 29 milligrams of THC, a potent dose, so serve small chunks. You can also swap out half of the butter for the non-psychoactive kind and drop the dosage down to 15 milligrams, which is much more reasonable for people who don’t smoke habitually. Always wait 60 minutes before eating more, because eating too much can leave you impaired for hours at a time.
These devilishly rich bites will be too tasty to resist, so no one will judge you for making them without herb, but if you want to impress someone or just imbibe the nostalgic way, this is it.