caramels

BY ED MURRIETA

The combination of cannabis and coffee is at once one of the oldest pleasures and one of the hottest new trends.

The old pleasure is a joint and a cup of coffee — the classic hippie highball. The new trend includes ready-to-drink cold brew coffees and single-brew K-cup pods infused with cannabis.

Looking for another dandy way to enjoy cannabis and coffee without paying $12 at a dispensary? Try candy.

Cannabis-infused caramel candy contains two great coffee enhancements — cream and sugar — plus a psychoactive jolt of THC. The best part is you can turn any coffee, from cheap old-school Folgers to expensive single-origin third-wave finca beans, into cannabis coffee with one drop — that drop being a piece of homemade cannabis-infused caramel candy.

My cannabis caramel coffee drop recipe is versatile and virtually foolproof. How strong, or potent, do you like your cannabis coffee? My recipe accommodates cannabis-infused butter, cannabis-infused cream, cannabis-infused honey and even a dash of bubble hash that will melt into the molten candy mixture as it cooks.

Even if you cook the caramel past the point where it’s soft and chewy and it turns to hard and brittle toffee, my coffee drops will still melt into any hot cup of java, cappuccino or latte, whether you brew your beverage at home or buy it at Starbucks.

Dosage depends on the potency of your cannabutter and the size of your finished caramels. A 1-inch square piece of candy is sufficient to jolt you and your coffee, adding a hint of sweetness without overpowering your drink. If you wish, you may increase potency by using cannabis-infused honey in place of regular honey, cannabis-infused cream in place of regular cream, or by adding a gram of finely ground bubble hash.

Cannabis Caramel Coffee Drops
Makes approximately 30 1-ounce candies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
4 ounces honey
4 ounces evaporated milk
4 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces cannabis-infused butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine all of the ingredients except the vanilla in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepot. Stir over high heat until the butter is melted and the sugar grains dissolve.

Stop stirring and let the mixture boil. Occasionally wipe down the inside of the pot with a wet pastry brush to prevent the sugars from crystallizing. Boil until the mixture reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Pour the hot caramel into pan. Or pour into individual candy molds if you prefer. Work quickly, keeping in mind that residual heat will continue cooking, and hardening, the caramel.

Let the caramel cool completely before cutting into individual pieces.