Breaking out a cookbook again for this edition of the Brownie Face-Off! This time around I’m working from Saveur: The New Comfort FoodIn it is a recipe from the amazing Katharine Hepburn, whose work I greatly admire and enjoy. Hopefully she’s as good a brownie baker as she is an actress!

saveur the new comfort food

Image via Saveur.

According to my cookbook, “A version of this recipe accompanied an interview with the actress Katharine Hepburn in the August 1975 issues of The Ladies’ Home Journal. This brownie recipe, which calls for a smaller than average amount of flour, produces incredibly chewy bars with a full but mellow chocolate flavor.”

We’ll see, cookbook, we’ll see….

Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies adapted from Saveur: The New Comfort Food by James Oseland

Makes 9 brownies

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 2 ounces. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts (I omitted this, because nuts in brownies is gross and for gross people. No offense, gross people).
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
brownies, katharine hepburns brownies


  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8-inch pan with butter. Line pan with parchment paper; grease the paper. Set the pan aside.
  2. Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a 2-quarter saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (Note: I did this in a double-boiler and it turned out fine).
  3. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to make a smooth batter.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and – if you’re using them – the walnuts. Stir until incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 – 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a rack. Cut and serve.

The end result was… okay. Katharine Hepburn was a fabulous actress, but she wasn’t so great with the brownies. It is only mildly chocolatey (a meager 2 ounces of chocolate will do that) and pretty bland. Definitely not a contender in the Brownie Face-Off. They were easy to make and pretty chewy and moist, seeing as how there isn’t much flour in them, but in the end, the flavor really ruined it for me. 10/20.