Katharine Hepburn brownies


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Katharine Hepburn Brownies

I remember vividly, watching an interview a few years ago between Katharine Hepburn and Dick Cavett on his show in 1973 and being completely inspired and mesmerized by this amazing woman who gave zero shits about what anyone else thought.

As she sat awkwardly in the chair across from her very first on-TV interview, the one reason that will always stick with me as to why she decided to do the interview was that “she likes to do things that challenge her”. Watch it if you feel interested or skip ahead to the part with delicious, gooey, dark chocolate. And no. Katharine was not related to Audrey.  

I had originally found this brownie recipe in some New York Times article but have since found that I’m fond of the setup of story + recipe on PBS’s post from the The History Kitchen. The recipe below is my take with some shortcuts (aka a microwave for melting), changing to dark cocoa and adding crushed cashews. These brownies are no fuss, gooey, rich chocolate goodness that go best with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of red wine!

The best advice from Katharine?

  1. Never quit.
  2. Be yourself.
  3. Don’t put too much flour in your brownies.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup dark cocoa
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine or unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (this is not a healthy recipe, folks)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour (yes, that’s it!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cashews (Katharine’s recipe calls for walnuts or pecans)


  1. Spray with non stick spray an 8×8 baking dish and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Add the cocoa and stir with a whisk or fork until well blended.
  4. Stir in the sugar.
  5. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  6. Stir in flour, salt and cashews. Mix well.
  7. Pour into 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes (I checked at 20 + 30 minutes – it’ll all depend on your oven. As soon as the toothpick comes out pretty much clean, take it out of the oven!)
  8. Cool completely and cut into triangles. These brownies are very fudgy and will be difficult to slice pretty so use a sharp knife and a spatula to help loosen them from the baking dish.
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