Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies

August 21, 2011


“If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun”

- Katharine Hepburn

I’m sure there’s a rule against eating the whole tray of brownies yourself in less than 24 hours, but where’s the fun in that? Sister Hepburn got it right: sometimes rules are meant to be broken. Without changing the norm, who would know that goat’s cheese and watermelon are ace together? Balsamic and strawberries? Vegemite and cheese? Lettuce and sauce sandwiches? Ok, that last one might just be me. Strange little child was I.

Classics, however, like gooey Chocolate Brownies with crunchy walnut pieces, should stay the same. I was so thrilled to encounter this traditional recipe, from Katharine Hepburn no less. This Chocolate Brownie recipe appeared along with her interview in the August 1975 issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal. And ladies, it works a treat!!

My eyes look like this when there’s chocolate involved too.

This chocolate brownie recipe is everything a brownie is supposed to be: a light flaky top which audibly cracks as you bite in, gooey chocolate insides and crunchy salty walnuts breaking up the rich chocolate goodness. Sigh.

If you can stand to wait, the brownies taste even better the following day. Whether that’s from the flavours developing, delayed gratification, or a bit of Column A and Column B, who knows. Bottom line; they’re a little too easy to eat. Enjoy them the next day with a tall glass of cold milk on the side.

Well, I admit to enjoying the odd lettuce and sauce sandwich. Any of you got a favourite yet weird snack combo?



60g Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
115g Unsalted Butter
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
200g caster sugar
30g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch salt

Heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20 x 20 cm square baking tin with butter. Line the base and sides with baking paper and grease the paper as well.

Place the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan. Melt together over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once melted, stir in the caster sugar. When the mixture has cooled, stir in the eggs, vanilla, walnuts, flour and salt until well combined. Pour into the greased baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. The top will go nice and flaky, while the middle should be cooked but still moist. Let the brownies cool on a wire rack before cutting into 9 – 12 squares.

Keeps well in an airtight container for 3 -4 days at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Saveur.com


  • http://thechocolatepot.blogspot.com Chele

    You had me at Chocolate ;0)
    They look fab … and who am I to argue with Sister Hepburn ;0)

  • http://busy-kitchen-mum.blogspot.com/ Taneesha

    Super yummy! Funnily enough I made something similar last week. As for the weird snack combo, when I was little I used to enjoy peanut butter and cheese sandwiches….not sure I could bring myself to eating it now.

  • http://www.gourmetgetaways.com.au Gourmet Getaways

    How special to have this recipe!

    What a gorgeous women she was. I will have to go and bake some brownies. Yummy!

  • http://www.sliceofmylyfe.wordpress.com Anita Menon

    I have seen a similar recipe in Dori Greenspan’s cookbook.

    The brownies looks so tempting. I am huge fan of Ms. Hepburn

  • http://Eastofedencooking.com Deb

    Very much enjoyed your post! Glad to know Katherine Hepburn liked brownies! Brownies will never go out of style, just like Sister Hepburn.

  • http://www.bellyrumbles.com Sara (bellyrumbles)

    Chocolate and walnuts are such a winning combination. Katharine Hepburn, who would of thought she had time to cook! Is a must try recipe I think.

  • http://boredomaboundsbyjulia.blogspot.com Julia @ Boredom Abounds

    Oh, yum! I’m always looking for new brownie recipes to try. Will add this to my file!

  • http://nevertrustaskinnyfoodie.blogspot.com/ Vee @ Munching (in) Melbourne

    Beautiful! And the brownies too of course ;) I do love one-pot (saucepan) recipes!!

  • http://alittlelessvanilla.wordpress.com/ ck

    I laughed at ‘My eyes look like this when there’s chocolate involved too.’! Brownies look very moreish.

  • http://laurenhairston.blogspot.com Lauren

    I’ve been meaning to try these for the longest time. Thanks for the reminder! I love brownies and I absolutely adore Katharine Hepburn. Thankfully, even though I haven’t baked them myself, I haven’t done without. The lovely bookstore/coffee shop down the street from my house features them once a week and they are delicious.

  • http://www.foodmyfriend.com Cassandra @foodmyfriend

    I could go a whole pan of brownies right now… It’s past 12!!

  • http://www.mybirthdayvenue.com/ Joanne Richards

    I would do anything for brownies! And I have to agree with you that brownies taste even better the day after and the days after that – although I think the day after would be the latest that my brownies will be seen, teehee ;)

    Weird snack combo? Hmm, let me see… I like eating raw tomatoes with Coca-cola? I’m not healthy, I’m so sorry! Is that weird enough?

  • http://msihua.com msihua

    My eyes would look like that too with chocolate brownies in sight!

  • S

    These look amazing! Love Katherine and I’m sure I’ll love these too. I used to eat lettuce and sauce sandwiches too! But my favourite thing to do was whenever we had ravioli, agnolotti or gnocchi (gnocchi was -always- the best for it though), I’d wrap each piece of pasta in a lettuce leaf, fill it up with sauce, then pop the whole thing in my mouth!! So so good. There’s definitely something perfect about any sauce/lettuce combo. Just remembering how good they were with the pasta is making me drool now…

  • amy

    i made these last week and they were gone within half an hour haha! absolutely delicious, hands down best recipe for brownies i have ever tried (especially as i cook completely gluten free and with the gluten free flour they still worked out amazingly). thank you on behalf of me and my friends! :)

  • http://twitter.com/memoryinsists Charlie Radio

    Sometimes I wonder if there’s ever any reason to cook savoury food.  I like that you noted how long it keeps – that’s theoretical, right? :)  

  • Jane-Mac

    Nice recipe.  I love a simple brownie recipe which is easy for the kids  :)
    I also like the below brownie recipe.

    Thanks for sharing,

  • http://twitter.com/dreamingtealove amy

    this is the best thanks :)

  • Intheblu

    Just made this – what an easy recipe with such scrummy results!!
    thanks for sharing :-)

Previous post:

Next post:

Web Analytics