Katharine Hepburn Brownies {Grain-Free}

 It always surprises people when they find out I went to film school.

I mean, I get why. I’ve never actually worked in the film industry, and I spend literally all my time baking, photographing, writing about, and serving food. It’s my whole life. Even while I spent six years learning about film production, I was mostly thinking about what I was going to make for dinner when I finally got back to my Upper West Side apartment. I watched equal amounts of Martin Scorsese films and The Barefoot Contessa. On the chance that someone’s shoot needed a craft services person, I was their girl. Getting class credit for roasting chickens and making salads? I was in heaven!

While my interest in film production was essentially gone by the time I graduated, my love for great movies has stayed strong (as has my love for cooking and baking, obviously). I still live for all things Scorsese, DeNiro, and DiCaprio, but when I need comfort, I go for anything with Katharine Hepburn. 

I am a diehard fan of her work–my personal favorites are Woman of the Year and The Philadelphia Story. I also love that she was a woman with a lot of opinions (something we have in common). She wore pants at a time when it was unacceptable for women to do so. She loved fiercely–the way she spoke about Spencer Tracy, her friends and family…πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ˜­ And, of course, she had opinions about food, namely brownies.

Ms. Hepburn was once gifted some brownies by her neighbors, and seeing that they were cakey instead of fudgy, she sent them her personal recipe instead of a thank you note! The recipe soon appeared in The New York Times and has since made its way around the Internet. And for good reason: these brownies are dense and fudgy, extra chocolaty, and studded with chopped nuts. 

Being a woman with a lot of opinions myself, I just had to mess with Katharine Hepburn’s recipe…but not too much. I added a touch of light brown sugar to the melted chocolate and butter base, and added some vanilla to round out the flavor. Being the good Texan girl I am, I swapped the walnuts for pecans. But the biggest change I made? I replaced the 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour with cocoa powder, making these brownies completely grain-free! I love when a recipe can feed my friends with allergies and specific diets.

The results speak for themselves. These brownies are super rich and full of chocolate flavor, and not even the slightest bit cakey. Fudgy brownie lovers won’t be able to get enough! And while I know Ms. Hepburn loved her own recipe, I think she’d approve of my version, too.

Want more brownies? Check out my Cocoa Brownies!

Katharine Hepburn Brownies {Grain-Free}
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
makes one 8×8″ pan

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch process)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease an 8×8″ rimmed square baking pan with butter. Line the bottom with parchment. Set aside.

In a double boiler or the microwave, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate together until smooth. Let cool slightly before transferring to a large mixing bowl.

Whisk in granulated and light brown sugars, followed by eggs and vanilla. Mix in cocoa powder and salt. Fold in chopped nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Tap full pan five times on the countertop to release air bubbles. Bake 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let brownies cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, before slicing and serving.


6 thoughts on “Katharine Hepburn Brownies {Grain-Free}

  1. Shelly Douglass

    Hey there Ms. E2 (Liz). I wanted you to know that I love your recipes, but mostly I love reading your stories with each recipes.


  2. Pingback: No-Churn Banana Pudding Ice Cream | E2 Bakes Brooklyn

  3. Pingback: Friday Favorites | E2 Bakes Brooklyn

  4. Michael Fox

    I recently had a slice of Liz’s Peanut Butter Devil’s Food cake and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. This girl is a baking genious!!!



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