Shannon’s Katharine Hepburn Brownies

Shannon's Katharine Hepburn Brownie

May 12, 2019   |  by Shannon   |   Recipes

Katharine Hepburn will always hold a very special place in my heart.  Andrew and I chose to be married on May 12th, Kate’s birthday, because we knew it was a date we would never forget.  (Or if one of us did forget, it was easy enough to look up!)

I could go into Ms Hepburn’s fabulous career, Oscar nominations, and wins here, but I’ll save that for another post. Instead, I want to share with you my twist on Kate’s family brownie recipe.

Katharine Hepburn’s brownie recipe was infamous within the Hollywood community of her time.  Almost as infamous as her recipe was how, according to such friends as George Cukor, Hepburn could put a pan of said brownies away by herself in a single sitting and somehow still keep her trim figure!

Kate kept the recipe pretty much under-wraps until later in her life.  I found a really cool story shared just after her passing in 2003, by a woman who may have been one of the first to acquire the famous Hepburn Brownie recipe.  Read about this TOTALLY Kate Hepburn story in my birthday tribute post to her!

In honor of Ms Hepburn, I am sharing not Kate’s brownie recipe, but my spin on her brownie recipe.  I wanted to stay true to the original idea of her recipe—very little flour, very chocolatey, and true to the original taste—rich and fudgey, not cakey!  I upped the flour a smidge—I am still confident these brownies would pass the Hepburn almost-no-flour-brownie-requirement.  I also solidified a salt measurement, added a leavener, and added some real chocolate to the cocoa powder in Hepburn’s recipe.  (Use any baking chocolate you like or have on hand, but I prefer to use Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate baking bars for a sweeter brownie, or Ghiradelli Unsweetened Chocolate baking bars for a slightly less sweet brownie.)  And I must say, the resulting brownie is simply delicious!

(If you would like Kate’s original brownie recipe, take a look at this charming memoir written by Eileen Considine-Meara, the daughter of Kate’s housekeeper.  Ms Considine-Meara was privileged enough to grow up around Ms Hepburn, and has endless fascinating anecdotes that she shares in her book. Also included in this gem of a book is Kate’s brownie recipe!  This is definitely a favorite of mine in my large Hepburn library.)

So make these brownies today!  And when you take that first bite of these definitely fudgey and not cakey brownies, think about the indomitable Ms Katharine Hepburn.  And maybe turn on an awesome film of hers, like Bringing Up Baby, for atmosphere. (:

Kate Hepburn in Woman of the Year. How gorgeous is she?!
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Shannon's Katharine Hepburn Brownies

My Spin on the Classic Katharine Hepburn Brownie!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins

Ingredients

For the wet ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 oz baking chocolate, unsweetened, semisweet, or milk, whatever your preference
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  • Grease and flour (or line with parchment paper and grease) an 8x8 or 9x9 inch glass baking dish.

Make the chocolate/butter mixture

  • In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter, baking chocolate, and cocoa powder over medium-low heat. Whisk as everything melts, and keep whisking until everything is smooth. Take the saucepan off the heat, and allow the mixture to cool for at least 5 minutes.

Stir together the dry ingredients

  • In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips.

Add the eggs and vanilla

  • Back to the chocolate/butter mixture. Add the two eggs and vanilla extract to the saucepan. Whisk until everything has incorporated and you have a smooth, chocolate pudding-like mixture.

Add the dry to the wet ingredients

  • Now add the dry ingredient mixture to the saucepan with the wet ingredients. Stir until everything has just come together.

Bake, Serve, Enjoy!

  • Pour the mixture evenly into your prepared baking dish.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  • Let cool for at least a half hour before cutting. This step is very important due to the low flour content of these fudgey brownies (just like Katharine Hepburn liked them!)
  • Cut, serve, and think of Ms Hepburn as you enjoy these delicious brownies! (:

Notes

In honor of Ms Hepburn, I am sharing my spin on her brownie recipe. I wanted to stay true to the original idea of her recipe—very little flour, very chocolatey, and true to the original taste—rich and fudgey, not cakey! I upped the flour a smidge—I am still confident these brownies would pass the Hepburn almost-no-flour-brownie-requirement. I also solidified a salt measurement, added a leavener, and added some real chocolate to the cocoa powder in Hepburn’s recipe. And I must say, the resulting brownie is simply delicious!

© Macarons and Mimi

I’m Shannon, thanks for visiting!  When I’m not on an adventure with my 4 year old, I’m developing plant-based recipes or watching a Classic Film!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These looked and sounded so good in your post that I decided to try out the recipe as dessert after a casual family dinner. THEY ARE DIVINE!!! Such a hit with my family that since then I’ve made them two more times! They really are as fudgey as you claim. Thanks for sharing the background stories and especially your twist on Katharine‘s treasured recipe.❤️♥️❤️

    1. Thank you so much!!! So happy to hear you enjoyed the brownies. Katharine Hepburn and brownies are two of my favorite things. 😆 Always excited when I can find an excuse to share them both haha!

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