Kiss Us, Kate – Brownies Supreme!
“Never quit. Be yourself. Don’t put too much flour in your brownies.”
~ Katharine Hepburn
So, it seems that brownies ranked right up there with life’s important lessons for Katharine. I always knew she was a foodie!
If you haven’t hear of her famous brownie recipe, well, it’s never too late because you’ve come to the right place. The outcome is a fudgy brownie, not cakelike. She always insisted to NOT overbake them and NOT put in too much flour. You’ll see she only uses 1/4 cup flour.
The month, August. The year, 1975. This was the year I graduated from high school, and I didn’t have brownies on my mind, but rather going to college. I did, however, just today order the original magazine this recipe was featured in from ebay. Here’s a look at the cover.
Look at the price-.75! The magazine features her life and loves, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
This is a piece of history that I will cherish and hold on to forever.
I’ve always been intrigued by celebrities and what they cooked and ate, and a dream of mine would be to produce a food show (along with Gordon Elliott, of course) taking us all into the famous kitchens of singers, songwriters, actors and athletes. We’d get down and dirty in the kitchen with them while they talk of growing up, what they ate, showing us how to make their favorite cookies (this is in my mind at all times).
I’ve even got a name for the show, quick to be a success because everyone is interested in what celebrities do in general. And, no, I’m not revealing the name just yet because my life’s not over, and I will always harbor this dream and know deep in my heart it will someday come true.
Back to Kate. She was raised to be fearless and independent. No wonder out of her mouth came….
“Life is hard. After all, it kills you.”
Hepburn’s New York neighbor, Heather Henderson, recalled her first memorable meeting with Katharine. At the time, Heather was threatening to quit her studies at Bryn Mawr, Katharine’s alma mater. Heather’s father, who had noticed that Katharine lived nearby, slipped a letter into her mail slot, begging her to talk some sense into his daughter.
Katharine called Heather at 7:30 am the next morning and lectured her on the stupidity of her decision. The two arranged to meet for tea. Katharine convinced Heather to stick it out at Bryn Mawr. This began a series of casual meetings between Katharine and the Henderson family.
One day, Heather’s father heard that Katharine had been in a car accident and was recovering. He stopped by her place to bring her a batch of brownies. Hepburn tasted them and balked. “Too much flour! And don’t overbake them! They should be moist, not cakey!” As always, Katharine was opinionated and brutally honest. She rattled off her own brownie recipe while Heather’s father scribbled notes.
This copy of her infamously simple, moist and deliciously shared brownie recipe came from the original LHJ magazine that I just ordered. I’ll update this post as soon as mine arrives after I take a photo of the recipe myself.
I struggle with so many ideas of recipes and hobbies and really just want to concentrate on one thing and be known for one thing or one recipe as my legacy, as Katharine was known for her brownies. She perfected it, shared it, stressed the importance of how to make them and believed in them. It doesn’t get much better than that for me.
- 2 squares unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8x8-inch baking pan and set aside.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and "beat like mad."
- Stir in flour, salt and nuts and mix. "Dump the whole thing quickly into the pan. Stuff this pan into the preheated oven."
- Bake for 40 minutes. After that, take out of pan and let it cool for a while, then cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and "dive right in!"