When the munchies strike next, you’re ganja need a delicious snack! From salted caramel brownies to fried chicken, our authors have the perfect recipes that will satisfy your every craving. Inspired by the first cannabis-themed cozy mystery, A Half-Baked Murder by Emily George, we believe if you’re a regular doobie-doer you’ll love these recipes!
Salted Caramel Brownies
From A Half-Baked Murder by Emily George
Begin with making your caramel. If you are making your brownies on the same day, also take your eggs out of the refrigerator to allow them to come to room temperature.
Ingredients for Caramel
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 1 cup of heavy cream (minimum 36 percent fat)
- 170 g / 6oz of unsalted butter
- Half a vanilla pod
- Flaky sea salt to taste
1. Cut vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out seeds.
2. Add sugar to a heavy-bottom saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.
3. As sugar is melting, swirl pan frequently or use a whisk to ensure that nothing is sticking to the bottom. Continue until the sugar is fully melted (no clumps left) and becomes a rich amber color. Do not allow it become dark, as this indicates burning.
4. Add butter and whisk to combine until butter is fully melted. Mixture may bubble vigorously at this time, so be careful!
5. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly add cream and vanilla.
6. Add salt. Salt levels are totally personal, so start with half to one teaspoon and increase from there.
7. Allow caramel to cool in saucepan for 10–15 minutes before transferring to jar or container. Ensure caramel is completely cooled before putting in the refrigerator.
Note: Caramel can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four weeks or up to three months in the freezer. If freezing, allow to thaw for a few hours at room temperature before use.
While your caramel is cooling you can commence making your brownies.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- ¹⁄3 cup cocoa powder (if you really want to make these special use Valrhona pure cocoa powder)
- ¹⁄3 cup coarsely chopped high-quality dark chocolate
- Vanilla (you can either use the other half of the pod to finish it up, or 1 teaspoon of extract if you have run out of vanilla pod)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1. Take your eggs out prior to baking to let them come to room temperature, about half an hour before you want to start baking.
2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C and grease your brownie pan, typically 8-by-8 inches.
3. Chop your chocolate into chunks.
4. In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate over medium heat. When fully melted, remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla until fully combined.
5. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated.
6. Sift flour and cocoa together to remove any lumps. Then fold into batter mixture until just combined (don’t overmix).
7. Pour batter into pan. Take spoonfuls of caramel and dollop onto batter, pushing them slightly so they sink down. Using a butter knife, cut through caramel to create swirls through the batter.
8. Drizzle a little extra caramel over the top.
9. Place into oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, depending on desired consistency.
10. Allow brownies to cool for at least half an hour before serving.
Potato Chip and Cranberry Cookies
From Caramel Pecan Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke
Yield: 5 to 6 dozen delicious cookies, depending on the size of your dough balls.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.
- 1 and 1⁄2 cups salted, softened butter
- 1 and 1⁄2 cups white (granulated) sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 and 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
- 1 and 1⁄2 cups finely crushed salted potato chips (measure AFTER crushing)
- 1 and 1⁄2 cups finely chopped walnuts (measure AFTER chopping)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1⁄3 cup white (granulated) sugar for dipping
- Approximately 5 dozen walnut or Maraschino cherry HALVES for decoration
Hannah’s 1st Note: Use regular potato chips, the thin salty ones. Don’t use baked chips, or rippled chips, or chips with the peels on, or kettle fried, or flavored, or anything that’s supposed to be better for you than those wonderfully greasy, salty old-fashioned potato chips.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla until they’re light and fluffy. Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing well after each addition.
Add the crushed potato chips, chopped walnuts, and dried cranberries. Mix until everything is well blended.
Form one-inch dough balls with your impeccably clean hands and place them on an UNGREASED cookie sheet, 12 to a standard-sized sheet.
Hannah’s 2nd Note: Alternatively, you can line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Place the white (granulated) sugar in a small bowl. (You will use this for dipping the cookie dough balls.)
Spray the flat bottom of a glass or the flat bottom of a metal spatula with Pam or other nonstick cooking spray. Dip the cookie dough balls in the bowl with the sugar and roll them around until they’re coated. Work with the balls one by one.
Hannah’s 3rd Note: If you dip multiple balls in the sugar and try to roll them around, they may stick to each other.
Once you’ve placed your sugared dough balls on the cookie sheet, 12 to a standard-size sheet, dip the sprayed bottom of the metal spatula in the sugar to coat it. Then use the glass or the spatula to flatten the dough balls on the cookie sheet.
Hannah’s 4th Note: You may have to dip the glass or the spatula in the sugar for each dough ball to keep it from sticking to the ball.
Bake your Potato Chip and Cranberry Cookies at 350 degrees F., for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are starting to turn golden brown at the edges. Take your cookies out of the oven and set the cookie sheets on cold stovetop burners or wire racks. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then remove them to wire racks to cool completely.
Robbie’s Simple Santa Barbara Reunion Nachos
From Nacho Average Murder by Maddie Day
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 15-ounce can refried beans
- ¼ cup water
- 1 9-ounce bag tortilla chips
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
For the topping
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- Sour cream, for drizzling
- Salsa (Fresh or from a jar)
- Hot sauce (optional)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with foil.
- In a skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, five minutes. Add garlic and spices. Cook for one minute without browning garlic. Add refried beans and water to skillet and stir until combined. (If you’re feeling lazy, omit the onions and garlic and just stir the spices and water into the beans.)
- Spread half the tortilla chips on the baking sheet and top with dollops of bean mixture. Sprinkle on half the cheese. Repeat one more layer.
- Bake five minutes or until cheese melts.
- Scatter with tomato and avocado, and drizzle with sour cream and salsa. Enjoy hot. Offer hot sauce and cilantro as options. You can omit the beans for those who can’t digest them.
From Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake by Sarah Graves
Chocolate pizza is so easy to make, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t try it before!
Start with a 12-inch plain pizza crust. You can also make your own, with these ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3⁄4 tsp salt
- 3⁄4 cup warm water
- 1 envelope dry yeast
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
For the toppings:
- Bits of white chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate
- Chocolate-hazelnut spread
- Chopped nuts (optional)
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
Mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the dissolved yeast and warm water. Add the olive oil. Mix it all together until it forms a dough. Dump the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until the dough is soft, adding more flour to the kneading surface if needed.
Put the dough in an olive-oiled bowl and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size—45 minutes or so. Then punch it down in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
When it’s time to use it, punch it down again and turn it out onto a 16-inch square piece of parchment paper. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 12-inch circle.
Slide the crust, paper and all, onto a pizza stone (or a cookie sheet). Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated 450-degree oven. The time is approximate, though—you want it browned, not burned, so check it starting at about 15 minutes.
Cool the baked crust until it is just warm, then spread with chocolate-hazelnut spread. Top with bits of white, dark, and milk chocolate plus chopped nuts if you like them (salted nuts are great on this!). Slide the pizza back into the oven until the chocolate bits melt slightly, remove from the oven, cut into slices, and enjoy!
Blackberry No-Bake Cheesecake
From The Diva Says Cheescake! By Krista Davis
This is a lovely, creamy, not overly sweet cheesecake for hot days.
- 9 graham crackers (one pack)
- 1⁄4 cup butter, melted + 1 tablespoon for greasing the pan
- 2 cups (around 12 ounces) blackberries, plus some for decorating
- 2⁄3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 8-ounce packs) cream cheese
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. You can use parchment paper around the sides if you like.
Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until fine. While it’s running, pour in the melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan and set aside. Wipe the bowl and blade of the food processor clean.
Cut cream cheese into 8 chunks and place in food processor.
Place sugar and cornstarch in a heavy bottomed pot and stir with a whisk to blend and get rid of chunks. Do not heat yet. Add 2 tablespoons of water and whisk to combine.
Wash the blackberries and pour them onto double paper towels so they won’t be soggy. Add to the pot with the sugar mixture. Cook on medium high, stirring constantly, until they bubble. Turn the heat down and simmer, stirring, for 11⁄2 minutes. Pour through a sieve into the food processor on top of the cream cheese. Pulse four or five times, then push on and mix together until no white spots show.
Whip the cream until it begins to take shape. Beat to a soft peak. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese 1⁄3 at a time until mixed. Pour into prepared springform pan and refrigerate overnight. To serve, loosen the sides with a slim knife if necessary, and remove from the pan. Decorate with blackberries.
Kitty’s Fried Chicken
From Hidden Beneath by Barbara Ross
One meal everyone on Chipmunk Island looks forward to is Kitty Brooks’s fried chicken. Whenever she appears at the little beach with a picnic basket, everyone comes running. In the real world, my husband developed the recipe for the book. I found it to be a perfectly spiced coating that brought out the very best flavor of the moist chicken meat.
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs (31⁄2 to 4 pounds)
For the brine:
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
For the coating:
- 1⁄2 cup potato starch
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground oregano
- 2 teaspoons powdered jalapeno
- 1 quart canola oil for frying
Mix the brine ingredients and pour over the chicken in a large bowl. Marinate overnight.
Mix the ingredients for the coating in a large bowl.
Heat the canola oil in a large pan with high sides to 350 degrees.
Remove the chicken from the brine and toss with the coating, ensuring each piece is fully coated.
Carefully add the chicken, skin side down, to the hot oil. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
Turn, cover, and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until the pieces register 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove and set on a rack to cool.