Baking for Bocce II: Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies


For people who love brownies, these are legendary. There are a few different recipes floating around claiming to be the definitive one and there are different stories about how the brownies came to be. The one most commonly held to be true is that Liz Smith of Better Homes and Gardens went to interview Ms. Hepburn for their August 1975 issue–these are the brownies she was served. Whichever story or version you subscribe to, the reason I love Katherine Hepburn’s recipe (and brownie philosophy in general) is because she believes in using very little flour. A belief I share. If you are a “cakey,” thick brownie person, these may not be for you. But if you like thinner, chewier, denser brownies–keep reading. These are super easy-you make them in the saucepan itself, so very few dishes. I made a small change: the original recipe calls for 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate and they yield a really nice, mild brownie. I make mine with 3 oz. chocolate which notches up the dense, rich flavor.

Katherine Hepburn's Brownies

Katherine Hepburn's Brownies

  • Yield: 9
  • Prep time:15mins
  • Cook time:45mins
  • Total time:1hr

Ingredients

8 tbsp. unsalted butter (plus more for greasing)
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. fine salt

Instructions

1. Heat over to 325; Grease an 8 x 8 pan with butter. Set aside.

2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a 2 qt. saucepan over low, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. Add walnuts, flour, and salt; stir until incorporated. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly.

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes clean, 40-45 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut and serve.

Note: For an interesting spin-off, check out Dorie Greenspan’s version of this recipe. Or, check out my all-time favorite brownie recipe of all time, Gourmet’s Triple Chocolate Brownies.

Comments

  1. Bria

    This used to be my favorite brownie recipe, and somewhere in the process of a few moves I lost track of it and let it settle into the recesses of my memory. Thanks for reminding me about it - it's really fantastic.

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