Doing some internet research, I am by far not the only person to ever blog about these brownies. My version of the recipe came via Laurie Colwin’s More Home Cooking where she does not mention the original source, which appears to be a 1975 issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal. Colwin’s description beats them all: “Some people like their brownies on the cakey side, and some feel they should be more like fudge. I myself like brownies that are what I call ‘slumped’ and the English call ‘squidgy,’ which means slightly undercooked but not quite runny in the center.” Squidgy, indeed.
My dad and I have a long-going dispute about brownies, mostly because he was the brownie king when we were little. Anytime that he made brownies from scratch was a huge deal, at least to me if it was not for my mum and my other bagillion siblings. We got apple pie way more frequently than brownies. He likes them cakey, while I prefer more fudge-like brownies. He complained the one or two times when I was home from college and made seemingly inedible batches.
Here is the recipe from “More Home Cooking,” the most succinct version out there:
Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies
- Melt together 1 stick butter and 2 squares unsweetened chocolate and take the saucepan off the heat.
- Stir in 1 cup sugar, add 2 eggs and ½ teaspoon vanilla, and beat the mixture well.
- Stir in ¼ cup all-purpose flour and ½ teaspoon salt. (In the original recipe, 1 cup chopped walnuts is added here as well.)
- Bake the brownies in a buttered and floured 8-inch-square pan at 325° F. for about 40 minutes.
Because this recipe only makes about 9 brownies (in a rather small pan), this is probably the recipe I will use from now on when I am feeling poorly and want a chocolaty, emotional boost. This time around I added ½ cup chocolate chips, sans the nuts in the original recipe (the chips will increase your baking time). Dried cranberries are great too. Espresso/instant coffee sounds like another wonderful addition to try later.
PS: Huge thank you to everyone who visited my blog yesterday! It was a record-breaking day.