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Sweet Mary Jane: 75 Delicious Cannabis-Infused High-End Desserts - Review by Cannafan

Teddy Edwards

420 Support
420 Staff
This cookbook took me into a newfound love for baking. That was not an easy thing to do. I've never been much of a baker, I consider myself a cook. There is a difference. :laugh:

With Karin's detailed directions and steps, it made my recipe selections easy to follow and they came out exactly as I expected.

The start of the book contains the history of how Karin got to where she is now. This gal has been baking since she was 8 years old, and even baked confections for New York City head shops while in high school.

She always had a dream of a bakery someday, and after much hard work and commitment, she achieved just that. After a long process and many hurdles to jump, she is now the owner of one of Colorado's most successful Marijuana bakeries called "Sweet Mary Jane", from which she creates edibles for dispensaries around the state. Based on her recipes, her information, and her attention to detail, I can see why she is so successful and her phone is always ringing.

This book is filled with beautifully presented photographs that make you want to grab a plate and just pick something off the page. Her food styling photography efforts have done her proud!

In the beginning of the book you will learn about the health benefits of cannabis infused foods, different types of ingredients, equipment you will need, and all about dosing, including how to calculate doses per serving. She gives 3 levels of dosing formulas for the recipes, so you can start out low and slow and then graduate to stronger dosing. This is a unique approach, and was much appreciated.

There is a treasure trove of information regarding Cannabis, and cooking with it. I learned quite a bit reading through this book. She even has a helpful chart in the end of the book on the medicinal uses of Cannabinoids for specific diseases or afflictions.

There are only a couple of downsides to the book: first is that there is no time guideline for the recipes. You have to plan some time, look at the steps and measure out your total time from there. Second downside is there aren't pictures of every recipe, although the pictures are plentiful in the book and your imagination goes from there naturally.

Now on to the decadent delights. Here are some of my recipe results from the book.

The very first recipe that hit me when I perused the choices were "Pot Tarts". Who doesn't love a pop tart done right? My personal experience with Pop Tarts has usually been that they were dry, and had very little filling. These have a perfect flaky crust and you get filling with every bite. This is one variation I thoroughly enjoyed. They were so easy! My fear of baking pastries was all but gone after making these, and the rest of the recipes went like a breeze for me.

The recipes for the fillings can be either sweet or savory. I made my own orange marmalade filling. I enjoyed these so much that I made them the next day with a savory filling of olives, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and topped them with sesame seeds. These went fast, mostly due to a family member who happened to stop by and took a few home with him. :laugh: I left a few of the sweet filling tarts without the powdered sugar, and popped them into the toaster oven the next day, and they were just as delicious.

"Pot Tarts"

(Photo by Cannafan)​

With the Pot Tarts being such a great success, I opted to try something a little more historically challenging for me, baking bread.

This recipe is called "Blood Orange-Ginger Sweet Bread".

What a great success! There are a lot of ingredients to this, but they are well worth it. Probably the best tasting sweet bread I've had in many years. I gave some to two friends and they were just amazed and wanted more.

"Blood Orange-Ginger Sweet Bread"

(Photos by Cannafan)

I snacked on this quite a bit over a weekend, I even toasted some with some strong cannabutter on it. Kicked my arse! This is now, without a doubt, my favorite sweet bread.

Next in line was something that included some staple ingredients at my house. Cream cheese and chocolate! I make my own cream cheese, and I always have it on hand.

This recipe from the book is called "OMG! Brownie Cheesecake Bars". The hardest part about this recipe is that you have to wait 8 hours or so to cut them and eat them. The best part of it is that you can make all kinds of personal toppings on these and they can be frozen.

"OMG! Brownie Cheesecake Bars"

(Photo by Cannafan)​

I got a creative urge and made up several different toppings, whipped cream and strawberry jam, diced up peanut butter cups, some home made special marmalade and just plain maraschino cherries and a slice of candied pineapple.

I still have a lot of these in the freezer, they are great sweet snacks to have around.

Moving on to the last on my list of recipes that I tried during my week of testing was Karin's "Smashing Pumpkin Bars".

Mine did not turn out the same as Karin's, they were a bit dense. Hers had more of a cake texture. I believe that is because I used canned pumpkin and didn't puree it. They were good, but next time I will follow her suggestion of using pumpkin puree.

This was a perfect food to bake on the first heavy snowstorm day of the winter season. My house smelled wonderful and just made me feel warm and cozy.

"Smashing Pumpkin Bars"

(Photo by Cannafan)​

I have tried many other recipes from this book since that week, from her sections on sweet sauces, cookies, and even ice cream. I really love her Baked Meringue Pomegranate Apples:

"Baked Meringue Pomegranate Apples"

(Photo Kendal Atchinson)​

And her recipe for Carrot Cake Cookies is probably not your Grandma's version by any means. These were heavenly:

"Carrot Cake Cookies"

(Photo Kendal Atchinson)​

Karin makes things easy and fun. She allows the reader to get their own creative kitchen ideas going, and enjoy what they have accomplished....in more ways than one.

This would make a great addition to that special cookbook shelf, and would make a nice gift to someone new to cooking with Cannabis.

Karin is an inspiration, and a fabulous Canna Baker!

420 Magazine Book Review by: Cannafan
Author: Karin Lazarus
Publisher: AVERY an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Purchase "Sweet Mary Jane" here


Member of the Month: Jan 2014, May 2016, Feb 2017
Re: Sweet Mary Jane - Book Review by Cannafan

Here's a few more pics of those recipes to check out. I will be making those "Pot Tarts" on a regular basis. :laugh:

Fresh from the oven:



New Member
Re: Sweet Mary Jane - Book Review by Cannafan

Here's a few more pics of those recipes to check out. I will be making those "Pot Tarts" on a regular basis.

Fresh from the oven:

Hi Cannafan!

Out of the blue, I decided to check Amazon to see if there were any books on cannabis... I can tell you I was beyond super surprised at how many different books there were.

I had no idea your *excellent* personal experiences per Karin's book was on here prior to my purchasing the books.

I have always loved cooking, baking, pastry making, aromatherapy, making soaps and especially creating clear see-through soaps purely by scratch with only uncut essential oils. There's a world of difference between eo's and fragrance oils.

We used to live close to Rhinebeck, NY. I went to CIA's school for 7.5 years for cooking and pastry making. It was too much fun!!!

I purchased 2 different books. The first book is; "The Cannabis Encyclopaedia" by Jorge Cervantes

Second book: "Sweet Mary Jane" by Karin Lazarus

The books arrived yesterday (5.20.17)

I was so absorbed with Jorge's work. Incredibly detailed with extensive knowledge left and right!

Now for Sweet Mary Jane, oh my good dear Buddha! It's fantastic!!!
Oh! Before I forget... I'm actually so glad Karin disregarded altogether the preparation time from start to finish of each recipe. It's just like the strains in and of themselves, not one strain are alike. I take that and liken it or apply it to preparation times... It's very different from one person to the next. I tend to take hours on end when I prepare berries for liquor infusions... Berries require a few things before the alcohol can be added, etc. But know that very process from another person could be done in just 10-20 minutes without doing detailed process. Just to do oh about 2 cups of whatever berries takes me a good couple of hours. It's highly meditative activity for me. But not to drift off subject, I do like the fact prep times was specifically left out.

I do have a question to ask as I've no clue of the answer. First of all, I refuse to play Russian roulette and order marijuana buds in dried form. I would be terrified out of my mind with worry. I have a very-very sharp/keen sense of smell. The scent of the dried harvested plant (or not dried) would smell right through containers and packaging. Instead I prefer cartridges, etc...
I'm wondering if the cannabis in the syringe can be used? (It's the type that you squirt into your mouth- I think.) [I've never tried that before]... But have you made anything without the actual dried herbs and used oils from syringe?

I own a gelato/ice cream maker and cannot wait to create such using cannabis!

I certainly without a doubt feel like a young child so full of excitement as well as enthusiasm! I'm antsy and cannot wait to try some recipes! I have been thinking of making brownies but with salted caramel in centre and brownie on top of that!

I am an avid collector of strictly organically harvested salts from all over the world.
Trying different salts for brownies with caramel seems like a fun project!

You've made her cheesecake brownies! That must have been heaven! You even make your own cream cheese! I tend to stick with good old Philadelphia cream cheese. I tried making my own cream cheese numerous times but it's just not the flavour of PCC that I like.

I will be making my husband sugar free pop tarts. The bread you made looks heavenly! I'm sure everything you've made has often snuck "itself" away only for you to find everything gone!

I made brownies laced with marijuana in the very early 80s in college... My husband who at the time was my boyfriend. I made a 9x12" pan of the brownies from scratch. Woke up the following morning to have a piece of brownie for breakfast. I couldn't find it. I asked my husband if he knew where it was. I'll never for as long as I breathe forget the look on his face and his eyes. He ATE every morsels of the 9x12" brownies. Boy was I not the slightest bit pleased. It took me YEARS to just make brownies. He'll eat brownies in any form! Argh! Men!!!! Ah such memories!

Have you tried any other good books other than Karin's? Her book is excellent!

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