The original “Alice B. Toklas brownie” was named “Hashish Fudge” in her cookbook and was not a brownie or fudge at all. It was a mixture of spices, dried fruits and nuts that included cannabis sativa leaves (marijuana). With the exception here of the marijuana that I replaced with a dose of Cointreau, a drastic reduction in the amount of sugar and omitting the butter, these are Alice’s brownies. I did use a mortar initially but ended up employing my coffee grinder to pulverize the spices. (Apparently, marijuana costs about $300 an ounce around here so I didn’t buy any.)
Following is Alice’s recipe as it appeared in her cookbook, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, under the name “Hashish Fudge”, if you care to try it yourself. If you use the marijuana, serve these early in the evening. And Alice advised that two pieces were “quite sufficient”.
“Take 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 whole nutmeg, 4 average sticks of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coriander. These should all be pulverized in a mortar. About a handful each of stone dates, dried figs, shelled almonds and peanuts: chop these and mix them together. A bunch of canibus [sic] sativa can be pulverized. This along with the spices should be dusted over the mixed fruit and nuts, kneaded together. About a cup of sugar dissolved in a big pat of butter. Rolled into a cake and cut into pieces or made into balls about the size of a walnut, it should be eaten with care. Two pieces are quite sufficient. Obtaining the canibus [sic] may present certain difficulties…. It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.”