There is nothing that satisfies a chocoholic like a rich, fat brownie. Not too fudgy, not too cakey, and not too sweet with a hit of walnuts---that is chocolate nirvana for me. Luckily I come from a chocolate-loving family, and my mom has been making these brownies for years. She keeps the now-stained and tattered recipe in her cookbook, and when she handed it to me to copy I realized they were called Katharine Hepburn Brownies. Legend has it that this is Ms. Hepburn's family recipe that was reprinted by gossip columnist Liz Smith years ago. Wherever they're from, they're simply fabulous and a breeze to make. (Just be sure to use the best unsweetened chocolate you can find, as well as an 8-inch square pan.)


  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Melt together 1 stick butter and 2 squares unsweetened chocolate and take the saucepan off the heat. (A double-boiler works well for this.)

2. Stir in 1 cup sugar, add 2 eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and beat the mixture well.

3. Stir in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently fold in 1 cup chopped walnuts.

4. Bake the brownies in a buttered and floured 8-inch-square pan at 325°F for about 40 minutes.5. Let them cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.

Makes 16 brownies