Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies: Nuttier Than a Screwball Comedy!

Katharine Hepburn. Even when she insulted you, something good came out of it.

sis-hepburn

Back in the 1970s, Kate befriended a young Manhattan neighbor at the urgent request of her father. It seems the girl was threatening to drop out of Bryn Mawr, Kate’s alma mater, and her frantic dad wrote to Kate—whom he’d seen but never met—to talk some good old New England sense into the child. (Needless to say, she did, over tea.) The four-time Oscar winner and the family soon became friendly, and years later, when Kate was injured in a car accident, the father dropped by with a batch of home-made brownies.

Miss Hepburn was not amused.

Oh, sure, she was grateful for the gesture, but she balked at the brownies: “Too much flour! And don’t overbake them! They should be moist, not cakey.”  Then she rattled off her own recipe by heart, while her chastened guest took notes.

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Here are Kate’s brownies, which, as you might expect, are pretty much perfect. They’re loaded with nuts, and the liquid-to-flour ratio gives them an extremely high Gooey Factor, which all good brownies should have. (Whenever I see a recipe with the line, “for cakier brownies…” I don’t even finish the sentence. If you want cakey, bake a freaking cake.)

KATHARINE HEPBURN’S BROWNIES

1 stick butter

1/2 cup cocoa

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 cup walnuts or pecans, broken into pieces

1 teaspoon vanilla

A pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the cocoa and stir until smooth, being careful not to overcook. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Gently fold in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the sugar, flour, nuts, vanilla and salt. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake 35-40 minutes; check with a toothpick after 35. They should still be gooey when they’re done. Let cool (a must!) before slicing.

Enjoy! And don’t look now but you’ve got a little chocolate on your chin…

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