Do Or Pie

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies


I found these brownies online entirely by accident and was curious as to why the world has Katharine Hepburn’s brownie recipe. After some snooping, I learned that the recipe came from a New York Times letter written by a woman whom Ms. Hepburn had once advised. The woman was thinking about dropping out of college in 1983 (to which Ms. Hepburn responded “‘What a damn stupid thing to do!”). Katharine Hepburn’s advice included these pearls of wisdom: “1. Never quit. 2. Be yourself. 3. Don’t put too much flour in your brownies.” Cheers to that.

I had yet to make brownies that were as good as the ones from the box (you know the ones with the fudgey packet?) until these. The box brownies are just so impossibly chocolatey and fudgey, they aren’t too cakey or dry, and they take 5 minutes to pull together. I was so pleased to finally have made a brownie that 1) tastes awesome in all the ways I like and 2) required minimal clean-up just like the box brownies. Chocolate craving: satisfied.

The original New York Times letter is worth a read.

Recipe adapted (only slightly) from Laurie Colwin and this New York Times letter

I added extra chocolate chips because I have no self control. Feel free to exert restraint. Actually, no why would you do that?

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a pot on the stove, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring constantly over low heat. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla. When combined, add salt, then flour. Mix in walnuts.

Pour batter into an 8×8 buttered baking pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees. Insert something pointy to check for done-ness; should come out clean.

So few dishes to clean!

So few dishes to clean!


Author: Zoe (Do Or Pie)

I live, work, and bake in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies

  1. Looking for a new brownie recipe! These will do awesome, thanks!

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