Marijuana and munchies
Breaking news: Marijuana gives you the munchies!
Recipe: Midnight chocolate brownie bites. (Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)
Now, there's nothing funny about cancer. But there is something funny about the need to study this, am I right?
Researcher Wendy Wismer gets the joke. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence concerning marijuana's effect on the desire for food, a.k.a. the munchies, she said. But she defended her pilot study as being the first to be conducted under rigorous, double-blind scientific controls.
In other Canadian research news, drinking alcohol can be good for you. You might even call it "healthy": Two studies from the University of Calgary have concluded that moderate alcohol consumption can cut the risk of death from heart disease and stroke by up to 25% compared with people who don't drink at all. Apparently, the alcohol helps increase levels of "good" cholesterol, which in turn helps reduce heart disease.
We're going to reserve judgment on all these studies -- we will leave that to our brainiac colleagues who run our Health section.
But we will leave you with a recipe for midnight chocolate brownie bites from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen.
Midnight chocolate brownie bites
Total time: 1 hour
Servings: Makes 25 brownies
Note: From Times test kitchen director Donna Deane. Start with a deliciously dense combination of bittersweet chocolate, dark cocoa and mini chocolate chips, and add a bright flash of citrus from orange liqueur and peel. Simply amazing, whether you eat them indoors or out.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter plus more to butter the dish
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 1/2 teaspoons lightly packed grated orange peel
1/4 cup best-quality cocoa
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the foil.
2. Melt the butter and bittersweet chocolate in a medium metal bowl set over simmering water until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and Grand Marnier, then the grated orange peel.
3. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until completely blended and the mixture is shiny and smooth; the mixture will be thickened at this point.
4. Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt, then stir the flour mixture into the batter until blended. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until puffed and almost set. Do not overbake. Cool while still in the pan, on a wire rack.
6. Lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil as a handle, and invert the brownies onto the cooling rack. Gently peel off the foil, then return the brownies to their original position. Cool completely. Cut into 25 squares, trimming off the edges if desired.