I was first introduced to the Katharine Hepburn brownie recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. The book includes many brownie recipes, and this was one of them. I’ve since seen the recipe in dozens of places online, in books and magazines. This brownie recipe was originally shared in the New York Times, by one-time neighbors of Katharine Hepburn. When they brought her a batch of brownies, she said they had too much flour and were overbaked, then proceeded to share her family’s brownie recipe. The brownies don’t have a lot of height, but are supremely moist and chewy, quite fudge-like, and loaded with walnuts. My mom adores any and all baked goods with nuts, so with Mother’s Day approaching last week (and Katharine Hepburn’s birthday being yesterday), I thought it would be the perfect time to try out this much-anticipated recipe!
As I suspected, my mom absolutely adored these brownies. She loved how many walnuts there were, although if you’re not a huge of nuts you could always cut the amount in half or leave them out altogether. You’ll still have a supremely moist and chewy brownie, complete with that thin, crackly crust that’s irresistible. If you happen to have some vanilla ice cream and hot fudge laying around, I urge you to make a brownie sundae. Brownie sundaes are always a good idea!
In honor of Katharine Hepburn’s birthday, treat yourself to some brownies this week… they’re a cinch to throw together and everyone knows you can never have too many brownie recipes. Plus, you’ll feel like a star!
Katharine Hepburn Brownies
Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
The famous recipe for Katharine Hepburn's brownies.
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium bowl set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water over low heat. Warm the chocolate and butter, stirring constantly, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk in the sugar, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, salt and chopped walnuts.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it into an even layer. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
(Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours)