This post was created in partnership with Luce Farm.
Say hello to my new favorite brownies.
Some might say they’re brownies with benefits.
And, though they aren’t special in that way, these brownies are pretty darn special.
For starters, they’re flourless brownies, which means they are ultra decadent and fudgey.
They’re made in a loaf pan for a small batch that’s perfect for sharing with someone you love (cough, Valentine’s Day, cough), and they’re absolutely loaded with hazelnuts via a healthy dose of hazelnut butter in the batter and chopped, toasted hazelnuts on top.
Oh, and they’re topped with a thick layer of ganache made with hemp-infused honey that delivers major medicinal properties along with a subtle herbal flavor that was just made for slathering on top of brownies.
Am I the only person who makes a pan of brownies and spends the next several days eating slivers of them every time I walk through the kitchen?
Please tell me I’m not alone.
These brownies were no exception, and after eating sliver after sliver for three days straight, I boldly declared them the best brownies I’ve ever made.
Or at the very least, the best of 2018. I’m already declaring that no brownie can compete with this one for the remaining ten months of the year.
And that hemp-infused honey ganache on top? OMG.
I used Luce Farm’s hemp-infused honey to add a dose of CBD to every bite of these brownies, and I’m not sure if I can ever go back to brownies made without it.
New to CBD? Here’s what you need to know.
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of the most prevalent compounds in the hemp plant (it’s also found in plants like broccoli and kale, but there’s significantly more in hemp), and, unlike THC- the compound most commonly associated with cannabis- CBD is non-psychoactive. It does not create a sense of euphoria or intoxication in the brain.
Translation: this stuff will not get you high.
In fact, it’s completely legal in all 50 states, and is used for it’s health benefits, of which there are many.
Luce Farm grows all of the hemp used to make their CBD honey on their farm in Stockbridge, VT, using entirely organic practices. Their environmentally friendly CO2 extraction process yields a full-spectrum oil that retains the essential vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids that are found naturally in the hemp plant, yielding a more nutrient-dense product.
Their CBD oil is then blended with raw Vermont honey to make a thick, creamy, herbal concoction that is sticky, sweet, and beautiful herbaceous. It’s incredible stirred into a cup of tea, but, frankly, I’m happy to just eat it off a spoon. When I stirred it with a little cocoa powder to make a quick chocolate sauce one night, I knew I was onto something. A few trials later, and I had a hemp-infused ganache destined to top some ultra fudgey hazelnut brownies. Strange how the universe leads me to brownies, time and again.
The research I’ve read about CBD links it to helping alleviate a myriad of pain and inflammation-related issues (think headaches, chronic pain, arthritis, etc), as well as helping manage anxiety and sleep.
It is also shown to be neuroprotective, which I like to think of as a complicated way of saying it gives your brain a gentle hug. In truth, the science is much more complex and CBD may even help protect our brains against degenerative diseases.
What I find most interesting about CBD is it’s ability to help people who have struggled with addiction stay in remission. It’s even been shown to help reduce the negative long-term health effects of alcoholism on the brain.
This is the part where I tell you that no, I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, and the FDA has not graced me with it’s presence here on this little old blog of mine to evaluate the health claims of CBD oil. If you’re concerned about using this all-natural medicinal product, you should absolutely do some research or chat up your doctor first. Maybe bring her a brownie to eat while you discuss CBD? Just a thought…
So, here’s what I’m thinking: snag yourself a jar of hemp-infused honey and give your brain a high-five (or a tender hug, more specifically). Maybe even send a jar to your best friend who lives across the country for Valentine’s Day, while you’re at it. Then, spread a little love (pun intended, obviously), by baking up a batch of hazelnut brownies and slathering it with the medicinal powerhouse that is CBD oil- in the form of this velvety smooth ganache- and share them with someone you love this Valentine’s Day.
Or any day for the rest of 2018, since I’ve boldly declared that no brownies can compete with them for the remainder of the year.
Whether you’re new to CBD oil, or already using it for it’s unique herbal flavor and impressive health benefits, I think you’re going to be OBSESSED with Luce Farm’s Hemp-Infused Honey. And, if you’re as crazy about fudge brownies and the dreamy combination of chocolate and hazelnut as I am, these brownies are going to bring you so much joy.
If you make them, be sure to let me know how they turn out! Leave a comment below, or take a picture and share it with me on Instagram!
- 2/3 cup toasted hazelnut butter (or 2 cups raw hazelnuts, to make your own)*
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Hemp-Infused Honey
- 3 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 Tablespoon toasted hazelnut butter
- a pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts + a pinch of flaky salt, for topping (optional)
- 1. If making your own hazelnut butter, turn oven on to 350 and toast hazelnuts on a sheet pan while the oven preheats (about 10-14 minutes, or until golden). Line a loaf pan with parchment paper for the brownies. Once nuts are toasted, transfer to a food processor or high powdered blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides, as needed.
- 2. Measure out 2/3 cup of hazelnut butter and add it to a bowl with the honey, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla; whisk to combine. Add all remaining ingredients, and stir until a thick batter forms. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan, and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until brownies have just barely set in the middle. Do not overbake.
- 3. Let brownies cool slightly, then use the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan and transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool. While brownies cool, the center should sink, creating the perfect indent to fill with ganache.
- 4. To make ganache, stir together all ingredients in a small bowl (if your coconut oil is not soft at room temp, gently soften it in the microwave or run the jar under hot water before using). The ganache should be thick but spreadable. If it's too thin, transfer to the fridge to firm up before spreading on the brownies.
- 5. Once brownies are completely cool, spread with ganache and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and salt, if desired. Cut into 4-8 brownies, depending on your desired size, and serve. Extras keep well at room temperature for up to 5 days, and I think they even get better after sitting overnight!
- *2 cups of raw hazelnuts will yield enough hazelnut butter for the brownies and ganache, with a few tablespoons leftover. Use extra to spread on toast or blend with coffee for a toasted hazelnut latte!
- Typically I would advocate for you to cut brownies into however many pieces you want, be that two or twelve, but since these brownies have a CBD-infused ganache on top, I recommend cutting them in at least 4 (for 30mg CBD per brownie) or up to 8 (for 15mg per brownie). All the research I've read shows CBD as safe for children, but if you're making this for anyone who would prefer not to consume CBD oil, feel free to use equal parts of raw honey in the ganache instead.
This post is sponsored by Luce Farm, a family-run farm in Vermont committed to growing organic, sustainable hemp used make the highest possible quality CBD oil. All opinions are my own and I think Luce Farm is pretty darn awesome!