For this recipe I wanted to focus on making white chocolate blondies that were extra gooey, like regular brownies. So often, they just don’t have that brownie like texture to them, but these are so delicious. There are two ways you can make them, either gluten free or with regular flour. They’re inspired by my friends at MigraineBuds, who were looking for a migraine friendly way to do a CBD infusion since most of the products you buy at stores contain other migraine triggers.
CBD vs THC
Although I live in Texas, which only recently cleared low THC cannabis for intractable epilepsy, I’ve been really curious about CBD oil as a natural preventative for my vestibular migraines. Not many people understand the difference between CBD and THC…I was one of them. I’ll try to give you an easy breakdown that helped me understand this better. Cannabidiol (which is also known as CBD) is one of many cannabinoids present in the a cannabis sativa plant, making it one of the most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana, the other being THC (Tetrahydrocannabinols). THC is known most for it’s psychoactive effects, producing the “high” effect people typically associate with marijuana use.
CBD however, does not have the psychoactive effects, but has been shown to reduce anxiety, inflammation, pain, and neurological disorders such as seizures and migraines. In fact when taken together, CBD can actually lessen the psychoactive effects of THC when combined. What’s super confusing is although CBD from hemp is widely sold around the US, it’s still sort of a gray area when it comes to the DEA. Hopefully measures like this will change it. All politics aside, it’s a natural treatment that has extremely limited side effects, the most common being digestive discomfort.
Here’s what’s really interesting to me. Opioids are prescribed freely for people who experience pain, especially associated with migraines. I’ve been prescribed Valium and Ativan to take as emergency meds when I’m having a horrible vestibular migraine because they suppress your vestibular system and calm everything down. But as I’ve been studying CBD further, I’m finding cannabinoids are similar to opiates by interacting with similar receptors in your central nervous system. If you can get the same benefits you would from an opioid or a benzodiazepine, like Valium, but in a natural way, doesn’t that seem better all around?
Of course many of us don’t live in legal states, but whether you do or don’t I highly recommend visiting MigraineBuds, created by Jodie E. Jodie has found cannabis to be one of the most effective treatments in addition to the Heal Your Headache diet. She says “I am currently 6 years in to my chronic illness… Cannabis is a helpful tool. It has helped me overcome the vicious cycle of rebound migraines, and has given me an alternative to addictive narcotics. But it is not a cure. It was a migraine specific elimination diet that cut my migraines by more than half. I highly recommend reading the book Heal Your Headache by Dr. David Buchholz. I still get migraines but I treat each one as an opportunity to test out a new strain, edible, oil some combination of these.” Her group, MigraineBuds began as a Facebook group which then launched a website, but it’s purpose is to educate the community on the best remedies for them, reduce the stigma associated with cannabis use, and facilitate an open discussion on migraine and cannabis.
CBD and Migraine
Many members, like myself, only have access to hemp-derived CBD (less than 0.3% THC content), but there’s still an abundance of information and product reviews. It’s extremely important to do your research when it comes to selecting the right product for you as many companies are jumping on the popularity of CBD oil and putting out “hemp seed oil” which is not the same as CBD. One of the most popular brands is Charlotte’s Web Hemp Oil. You can get this as either the Everyday Plus in olive oil (23mg of hemp extract per 1ml serving) or capsules (35mg of hemp extract) at Thrive Market or on their website. The Everyday Advanced on the CW website, which is more expensive but also more potent, contains approx. 50mg of hemp extract per .6ml serving. If you’re using this strictly for immediate migraine relief, the higher dosages seem to work better. Mary’s Nutritional’s also sells Remedy Oil that’s 500mg of hemp extract for one bottle and 2mg per dose, although doses can be adjusted to the individual. If you want to try a topical method, you can find options from both brands like a hemp gel pen or an infused balm.
If you do live in a legal state, Jodie had the wonderful idea to infuse your own cannabutter or oil that you can add to Heal Your Headache safe meals. You can follow her super handy infusion guides to make your own cannabis coconut oil or butter at MigraineBuds. This is important because while many dispensaries sell infused brownies or treats, you could be subjecting yourself to a migraine with the ingredients in these alone. If you’re eating chocolate brownies infused with CBD and THC, doesn’t the chocolate or artificial flavors counteract any good you’re doing to ease a migraine? Even with the CBD like Charlotte’s Web, it’s best to stay away from the flavored options, and just add the unflavored oil to something delicious…like these blondies!
White Chocolate Types + Soy Lecithin Explained
White chocolate is allowed on Heal Your Headache, mainly because white chocolate isn’t actual chocolate. This is because white chocolate is made without cocoa solids, typically as cocoa butter, which is the fat that’s been removed from the roasted cocoa beans. The solids are typically what create migraine-related issues. There are many different brands out there that contain some questionable ingredients.
Soy lecithin is a common ingredient and should not be confused with the soy proteins we typically avoid. It’s used as an emulsifier to create a smooth texture. However, if you have a huge issue with soy, try Divine White Chocolate (found at Whole foods) which uses sunflower lecithin (UPDATE as of 2020 they changed the ingredients and it now contains soy lecithin). Divine contains more cocoa butter and therefore is much more creamy and thick. It’s got less sweetness to it than the next ones and will melt better, but if you are super careful of cocoa content these will work better for you.
Callebaut white chocolate calets is another option that’s one of my personal favorites, but they are on the sweet side. They have a good milky texture that’s not waxy. Guittard Baking Au Lait Chips contain whey, but it’s not the same type of whey you want to avoid in the MSG list, which is whey protein. Here are links to a few different brands and you can choose which one is best for you:
- Divine White Chocolate
- Callebaut white chocolate calets
- Guittard Baking Au Lait Chips
- Ghirardelli White Baking Chips
I’ve made this white chocolate blondie recipe a few ways now, and I’m so excited to share it with you. First of all, I wanted to make a recipe without a ton of sugar in it. White chocolate is already much sweeter to me than regular chocolate, and adding anything over a cup is just too much. I also wanted these to be a pure white recipe, rather than using brown sugar. My first recipe I tried it with gluten-free all purpose flour (Trader Joe’s) and less white chocolate (about 6oz). They were delicious, but the consistency was dense and somewhat cake like. Some people love this! I found they cut really nicely and looked beautiful topped with powdered sugar.
The next recipe I was shooting for extra gooey. I kept the sugar amount the same, but added more white chocolate, including chunks mixed in. These were a total hit and we’re completely gone by the end of the night. I find that people who are gluten-free have their own flours they like to make, but if you’re looking for an easy way to do it, you can use Trader Joe’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour (be aware this one contains a tiny amount of xanthan gum).
Extra Gooey White Chocolate Blondies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped into cubes for easy melting (I used Kerrygold)
- 8 oz (1 cup) good white chocolate, cut into pieces if in bar form (I've used Callebaut and Divine)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 extra large eggs, slightly whisked
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white chocolate pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a double boiler or place a thick (heat proof) mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt butter and 8oz or 1 cup of white chocolate, stirring continuously until just melted. You want to watch this carefully so they do not separate. Remove from heat.
- Add sugar to the melted butter/white chocolate mix and stir to combine Then add salt, vanilla, and eggs. Add the flour in 1/4 cup increments, folding your batter carefully after each addition until just combined. Finally stir in the 1/2 cup of white chocolate pieces. Do not overmix.
- Take an 8x8in pan and either fill it with parchment paper, as shown in the above pictures or grease with butter. Pour in batter. Cook for 28-30 minutes until slightly browned on top and set in the middle. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.
Gluten Free White Chocolate Blondies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, rough chopped
- 9 oz white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 extra large eggs, slightly whisked
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-1/4 cups gluten free all-purpose baking flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a double boiler, melt butter and white chocolate together, whisking to combine. Once melted, remove from heat and add sugar. Then mix in the eggs, vanilla, and salt.
- Slowly add in gluten free flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Stir till just combined and do no overmix.
- Take an 8x8in pan and either fill it with parchment paper, as shown in the above pictures or grease with butter. Pour in batter. Cook for 33-38 minutes until slightly browned on top and set in the middle. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.