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Dessert Recipes

Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies

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Could I possibly find another brownie recipe that I desperately need to try? I have a whole file with brownie recipes dating back to when I was first clipping recipes back when I was in middle school.

The pages are yellowed and frayed. But I save every one of those recipes because I’m sentimental like that. Here is a brownie recipe I’ve had my eye on for quite a few years. I’m not sure why I didn’t make them, but I’m pretty happy I finally did! It’s a recipe that accompanied a 1975 Ladies Home Journal interview with the amazing actress Katherine Hepburn and it was republished by Saveur. It was apparently a family recipe of the iconic Ms. Hepburn.

I was intrigued by the minimal amount of flour in the recipe and by the ease of the recipe. Intrigued for years, it was about time I made these brownies. What took me so long?

These are melt in your mouth kind of brownies.

The sort of brownies that you sneak another one of while the kids aren’t looking.

These brownies are dangerous. Very dangerous.

Super easy to make brownies that are moist, crumbly and fudgy. The batter is put together in a flash: less than 10 minutes! I added just a little bit of espresso to give it a kick.
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Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies
Saveur

8 tbps unsalted butter
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons brewed espresso
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 325°F . Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the espresso (or coffee). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter. Add the flour, salt, and stir until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes (i checked mine at about 38 minutes and they were done. Every oven is different so you may want to check yours at around 35 minutes).

Let cool on a rack. Cut into squares and serve.

brownie perfection:)

32 comments

  1. Fabulous brownies and I love the story behind them!

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  2. I can't think of anything that would be better at this minute! anne
    www.anniebakes.net

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  3. Haha, I try every brownie recipe too! These look amazing!

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  4. Back to my kitchen to make them right now...Seriously!

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  5. Great looking brownies, and proves your point on sneaking... :)

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  6. Ohh Lora,just can't keep my hands off these!And to think that the great Ms. Hepburn actually munched on these brownies - that adds a new dimension to them altogether!Awesome!
    Sudha
    Ongoing Event - 'Love for Lentils'

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  7. I've heard of these brownies! I had no idea they only had a quarter cup of flour. They look amazing.

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  8. These brownies look just perfect. A little bit like miss Hepburn herself, I would say. Nicely done! Thanks for the inspiration...

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  9. I have a yellowed copy of this recipe too! Can't even remember when I clipped it , but is THE brownie recipe in this house!

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  10. Oh my...my sister's superlative recipe for brownies she made (and I had the great fortune of sharing)..in high school in the late '70s....She was always the biggest Katherine Hepburn fan and imagined her baking these for Spencer Tracey...

    They are fudgey, decadent....TOP! My next brownie bake is this one!!!

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  11. So happy that you went through your old magazine clipped recipes and found this one. Katherine Hepburn was a class act (as are you) and so are these brownies!

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  12. Hey girlie I made S chewy brownies in one of his care packages. Next I will bake these beauties!! I might be tempted to keep them for myself.

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  13. You are not alone - I have 6 shoe boxes full of 3 x 5 cards - my mother's entire recipe collection and guess what? This recipe is one of them! i can attest this are very dangerous brownies... and so worth making!

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  14. This recipe seems so simple, and for once, I'm not intimidated by the thought of making brownies. Maybe this will be my dessert choice for this weekend... Thanks for the great post! :)

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  15. Love the simplicity of this scrumptious brownie recipe. Much like Ms. Hepburn, it's a classic.

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  16. Dangerous brownies sound amazing girl!! Fun recipe :)

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  17. Yum! Any brownie recipe with that ratio of butter to flour just has to be good. Thank you for sharing, sweet girl. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hugs and love from Austin.

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  18. Lora, these brownies look decadent and delicious! What a wonderful recipe to share - I'm inspired to make them myself! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  19. Those look delicious! Makes me majorly crave chocolate right now.

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  20. That is a tiny amount of flour, but okay with me. The fudgier, the better, when it comes to brownies! I agree with Ken. Ms. Hepburn is a classic and so is the recipe.

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  21. I think brownie recipes are a fantastic thing to collect :) These look perfect!

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  22. Love those rich brownies flavoured with espresso!

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  23. Mmmm... I'd love to have a bite of that!

    "Happy Cooking"

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  24. These brownies look great! I like the recipe a lot! Will try. Thanks :)

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  25. I've had my eye on these for a long time Lora! You make them look and sound as sinful as I thought they would be! xoxo

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  26. In true Hepburn style - - (both Audrey & Katherine) these are both simple and gorgeous :)

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  27. That's so funny that you posted this. I was just telling my kids about Katherine Hepburn yesterday - how she rocked the boat when she started wearing pants before any other lady in Hollywood. If these brownies are as good as her movies, then I need to whip up a batch...pronto.

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  28. Sweetheart, this recipe is in the New York Cookbook and I used to make it years ago when I first got the book. They are simply fabulous! Love your photo!

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  29. I love this recipe! I was watching Jamie Oliver the other day and he did brownies and he said that he always undercooks them just a tad and the edges never go hard. I'm anxious to try that. I figure I can eat the middle with a spoon when nobody is looking. A big spoon. :)

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  30. Mmm.. you can never have a brownie that is too rich.

    XO,
    Catherine
    (Click here to enter my anthropologie kitchen tools giveaway.)

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  31. I absolutely love this brownie recipe. It is a family favorite.

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