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Katharine Hepburn's Brownies Tested Recipe

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Katharine Hepburn's Brownies Recipe

Katharine Hepburn Brownies are named after the famous actor. The story goes that gossip columnist Liz Smith got the recipe from the actress to publish in her column. That was about 25 years ago and  since then these brownies have only grown in popularity. This brownie recipe appears in countless cookbooks and with good reason. They are delicious. While the top crust is dry and cracked, underneath they are sweet, moist, and chewy, with a pleasing chocolate flavor. You can eat them warm, at room temperature, or even cold.        

These brownies are made in one bowl. You can mix the ingredients together with a wire whisk or you can use a handheld electric mixer. The brownies are made with unsweetened chocolate, which is also known as baking, plain or bitter chocolate. It is chocolate in its rawest form and this means that unsweetened chocolate is just ground cocoa nibs that have been refined and contain between 50-55% cocoa butter (cacao fat). This type of chocolate contains no sugar so it has a strong, bitter taste that is used in cooking and baking but is never eaten out of hand. You can use the unsweetened chocolate from your local grocery store that is sold in a box of individually wrapped one-ounce squares but I prefer using Scharffen Berger for its superior flavor. You can find it in most specialty food stores. Finally, there is always the debate of whether brownies should contain nuts. It is really a personal choice so you can add them or leave them out as you choose.

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Katharine Hepburn Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan. 

Melt the chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Next, stir in the vanilla extract and eggs. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and chopped nuts (if using).

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 - 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled. These freeze very well.

Makes 16 brownies.

References:

Colwin, Laurie. 'More Home Cooking'. Harper Collins Publishers. New York: 1993.

O'Neill, Molly. 'New York Cookbook'. Workman Publishing. New York: 1992.

Katharine Hepburn Brownies:

2 ounces (60 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (100 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

 
 
     
 

 

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