Edible gifts are perfect for your cannabis-loving friends who will surely appreciate a homemade gourmet surprise! Combine several tasty cannabis-infused treats in a stunning gift box and wow your stoner friends with an unforgettable present that’s easy to make. This year I created a “High Holiday” sampler that combined Berry Almond Torte Cookies with Fantastical Fudge, Chewy Cannabis Caramels, and Bacon Pistachio Brittle in a beautiful gift box. One day working in the kitchen will yield enough sweets to keep everyone on your gift list happy and high!
First, seek out your gift boxes — you can find them at craft stores, cookware stores, or even second-hand stores. A family member may also be stockpiling reusable gift boxes. I used silver boxes that measured about 6 inches square, and each box snugly fit one cookie, one chunk of brittle, and two pieces each of fudge and caramel. I used mini-cupcake liners to contain the fudge and caramels, and larger cupcake liners to wrap the cookies and brittle. I had to trim the cupcake liners with scissors in order to fit under the gift box lid. With a little care and craftiness, your finished gift boxes will be so impressive that your friends will think a professional made them! Don’t forget to include a little note that informs the recipient that these goodies are indeed infused with cannabis, plus the names of the treats and ingredients used for each item.
If you’re pressed for time, just make double batches of the Fantastical Fudge and Cannabis Caramels — 12 candies fit perfectly in a 6-inch square box, and both recipes are made easily on the stovetop.
6 tablespoons Simple Cannabutter
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
One 7 oz jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine the cannabutter, sugar, and evaporated milk, and bring to a slow, rolling boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Remove the mixture from heat and immediately stir in chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla, and nuts. Stir until the chocolate melts, about 3 to 5 minutes .
3. Pour the liquidy sweetness into a 9-by-9-inch pan lined with parchment paper and chill completely, then cut into small squares.
4. Cut the fudge into small bite-size pieces, and you should get about 64 pieces.
Chewy Cannabis Caramels
4 ounces Simple Cannabutter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sea salt, chopped nuts, a sprinkle of ground red chili or cardamom, melted chocolate for dipping or topping (optional)
Equipment: Candy Thermometer
1. Line a shallow pan (measuring approximately 8 by 8 inches or 10 by 12 inches) with foil. Grease the foil lining. Set aside.
2. In a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan over high heat, combine the cannabutter, heavy cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and evaporated milk. Stir often over high heat, and bring to a boil, until the mixture reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. Be patient, it might take 10 to 15 minutes to reach proper temperature. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
3. Immediately pour the caramel evenly into the foil-lined pan. (if you’d like to add one of the optional toppings, do so now.) Let the caramel cool completely before cutting into 1 ½-inch squares with a lightly oiled knife. Makes at least 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch confections.
Bacon Pistachio Peanut Brittle
This recipe is adapted from our friends at Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco where Jake and Sean create diabolical new flavors that tantalize your taste buds.
2 ¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
½ cup Simple Cannabutter
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 cup unshelled roasted pistachios
1 cup roasted peanuts
2 slices bacon, cooked until very crisp, drained and finely chopped
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1. Get all the ingredients together and measured before you begin. Once cooking beings, the action moves quickly. Combine the nuts, bacon, vanilla and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a medium, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and cannabutter and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Your candy thermometer should read 300ºF.
3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the nut-and-bacon mixture.
4. Sprinkle the baking soda evenly over the mixture, and stir until thoroughly combined. Spread the batter as evenly as possible on a clean baking sheet. Let cool completely before breaking in into chunks. Do not refrigerate!
Berry Almond Torte Cookies
This is the healthier treat in the edible gift box, and one of my favorite recipes from NYC’s Natural Gourmet Institute for Food & Health. (LINK: http://naturalgourmetinstitute.com/) Lightly medicated with infused coconut oil, this cookie is for your vegan and health-conscious friends!
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats, lightly ground in a food processor
1 cup raw almonds, lightly ground in a food processor
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup cannacoconut oil (or 10 tablespoons cannabutter)
½ cup maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
4 oz. jelly
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Combine flour, oats, almonds and cinnamon in one bowl. Combine oil or butter, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt in a second bowl and mix thoroughly until emulsified.
3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
4. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press your thumb into each cookie to make a well. Fill the center of the cookie with jelly. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.