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Katharine Hepburn's Brownies (Thanksgiving edition)

Katharine Hepburn excelled in everything from stage to screen and even sports! She won a record four Academy Awards for Best Actress and remains one of the most beloved stars of Hollywood's Golden Age. It should come as no surprise that she also knew how to make delicious brownies.


This recipe is all over the internet and very easy to find. It was published in the New York Times in 2003. I used the book "American Cookie" as my source. If you love baking and the history behind it, this is a book you are sure to enjoy!

Here is the recipe. For the Thanksgiving version, I replaced 1 cup of walnuts with one cup of fresh cranberries. The rich chocolate and tart cranberries are an excellent combination.


  • ½ cup cocoa or 2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened baker's chocolate

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (instead of walnuts)


  1. Melt butter with the cocoa or chocolate together in a heavy saucepan over medium low, whisking constantly till blended. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and walnuts. Mix well. Pour into a well buttered 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into squares. These brownies are very gooey and may be somewhat difficult to slice cleanly; use a sharp knife and a spatula to help them loosen from the baking dish.

Tips/Techniques You will also need a 8x8 inch baking dish.

Special Guest

Lara Gabrielle was my special guest. She is a writer and film historian. Her new book CAPTAIN OF HER SOUL: THE LIFE OF MARION DAVIES from UC Press is slated for release in 2022. To find out more, take a look at her blog Backlots.

The Final Result

The brownies are delicious. This is an easy to make treat and a perfect alternative Thanksgiving dessert. Feast your eyes on this gooey magnificence!

I think our brownies would earn Katharine Hepburn's stamp of approval.


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