Recipes for … cooking enthusiasts

April 20 is the perfect time to add an extra special ingredient to your favorite baked goods – we’re talking about love, of course. (Photo courtesy of Creative Commons)

April is a month for sweet celebrations. Although finals anxiety looms, we treated ourselves to time with family and friends, various holiday traditions and decadent Easter cuisine at Coachella.

This celebration continues today, April 20, a day with traditions and treats all its own. No other day is the need for snacking or the potential for edibility more abundant. To make sure you’re equipped to celebrate, here are some tasty and vibrant recipes that will serve as the canvas for any secret ingredients you might have on hand.

Butter or infused oil

This is an optional step, but perhaps the most important to enhance holiday recipes. Think of infused butter (or oil, its vegan alternative) as what cranberries are for Thanksgiving or high-fructose corn syrup for Halloween: they’re thrown into everything, as tradition dictates.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour (butter)

2-3 hours (oil)

Servings: N/A

16 ounces butter or oil

1 ounce secret ingredient (at most)

Colander or cheesecloth

Start by decarboxylating all the secret ingredients: heat for 30-40 minutes in a 245 degree oven, then grind or break up by hand. Melt the butter or simmer the oil in a saucepan and add the secret ingredients, then simmer over low heat for one hour (if using butter) or about 2.5 hours (if using oil) , stirring frequently. Strain the butter or oil and discard the filtered solids.

Chocolate crepes

What better way to start the day than with sugar and bread? Take a morning jump followed by a long, restful nap with this breakfast.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 ½ minutes

Servings: 3

½ cup infused butter, melted and divided in half

1½ cups buttermilk

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup organic cane sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Whisk together the milk, egg, and butter in one bowl, and the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in another. Combine all ingredients and pour ¼ cup into a buttered skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 2 minutes and flip when the edges are set, then cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with syrup to serve.

Baked Bruschetta

Here’s one for herbivores. Spring is a time to embrace all things green, from fresh California vegetables to the grass you’ll spend hours staring at.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Servings: 3

1 thin baguette

1 tablespoon infused oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp garlic

1/8 cup fresh basil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Cut the baguette into ¾-inch slices and brush both sides with olive oil before toasting with a toaster or stovetop. Chop and combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, vinegar, bell pepper and infused oil in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the tomato mixture over the toast and serve.

Marble brownies

It wouldn’t be a party without a rich, cavity-inducing dessert. Luckily for all you puritans and youngsters, this one is comatose even without secret ingredients.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Servings: 12

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 package (21 ounces) brownie mix, batter prepared according to package directions (except cannabis oil or cannabis butter substitute)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set aside a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Mix cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Prepare and spread half of the brownie batter from the packet into the baking dish, then pour in the cream cheese mixture and top with the remaining half of the batter. Slice and swirl the mixture to create the marbled texture, then bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. Leave to cool then cut and serve.

Jokes aside, stay safe and consider dosage very carefully if you’re making any of these recipes. Be careful and follow the advice of health authorities if in doubt. Celebrating is certainly fun, but getting sick never is – from too much sugar, that is. Good pastry!

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