This recipe has been in several cookbooks, and the story goes that gossip columnist Liz Smith received the recipe from Katherine years ago. We are not sure if this is just cooking lore, but these chewy, chocolaty brownies are delicious! We have modified the directions somewhat to make them easier to follow.

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Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies

  • Yield: 8 (16 brownies) 1x


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/41 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) – optional
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • powdered sugar for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking dish.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt and nuts (if using). Set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water just until melted. Remove from heat, let cool a bit (so you don’t cook the eggs) and stir in the 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla and eggs. Stir until well blended. Finally, stir in the flour and nut mixture.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve at room temperature.


Make ahead: The brownies can be baked and frozen for up to 6 months.



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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I haves provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

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