I Made Katharine Hepburn’s Favorite Brownies—and Here’s What I Think
She may have the distinction of holding the most Academy Awards in history, but my question was whether or not Katharine Hepburn’s brownie recipe deserved the attention it garnered after it was published in The New York Times in 2015. I decided to test the legendary actress’ recipe to see if it’s worth the hype.
Brownies range from gooey to cakey, chocolatey to milky, thin to hefty—finding the right balance is critical. Hepburn’s recipe is simple. Equal parts of melted butter and unsweetened cocoa are mixed together before eggs and vanilla are added to make the “wet ingredients.” Since this brownie recipe does not use any melted chocolate, the cocoa and butter mixture is crucial to give these brownies their characteristic gooey texture and dark chocolatey flavor. The wet ingredients are then mixed into the dry ingredients, which includes 1/4 cup of flour, 1 cup of broken pecans or walnuts, and 1 cup of sugar. This small amount of flour gives the brownies just enough structure to hold their shape without making them dry or cakey. The recipe instructs to mix the nuts, flour, and sugar together before adding the wet ingredients. This ensures that the nut pieces coated in flour will be suspended equally throughout the brownies instead of sinking to the bottom while they bake.
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The tray comes out of the oven with a glossy, wafer thin layer on the surface that cracks when you cut into them. They are very very moist brownies and are filled to the brim with nuts. If you’re drawn to brownies that are gooey and require nothing extra to be enjoyed, these textured chocolatey squares are irresistible. In my estimation, these brownies earn every ounce of attention they’ve received, and I gladly tip my hat to the one and only Katharine Hepburn.