Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Katharine Hepburn's Super-Amazing Brownies

I love Katharine Hepburn's brownie recipe. I tried a KH brownie for the first time a few years ago at the cafĂ© at Watermark Books and keep an eye out for them every time I'm there. I finally decided to make some at home. I've been meaning to share my Katharine Hepburn brownies since this summer when I took them to an Occupy Wichita meeting and pot-luck dinner* (where they were gobbled) but hadn't gotten around to it until I was reminded by Jenny and her KH brownies post. Frankly, they're too good to waste on strangers. Keep them all to yourself. They're crisp on top and ridiculously gooey in the middle. It's how brownies are supposed to be, otherwise you've just got chocolate cake on the one hand or fudge on the other. I've made a slight alteration from Miss Hepburn's original recipe and subbed sprouted whole-wheat flour for the all-purpose. It's only 1/4 cup so you'd never notice, but I figure it makes them much healthier. Right? Am I right?

Katharine Hepburn's Brownies

¼ lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1 cup walnuts, chopped
¼ cup finely-milled sprouted-wheat flour

Preheat oven to 325˚ Fahrenheit. Grease an 8” x 8” pan, line with parchment paper, and then grease the parchment, as well. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter and chocolate, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. As soon as most of the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and continue stirring while the remaining chocolate melts.

Stir in the vanilla, sugar, and salt. Beat in the eggs then stir in the walnuts and then the flour. Pour into the prepared pan and even out with the back of the spoon. Bake about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool brownies, in pan, on a cooling rack then cut into 9 squares. Enjoy!

Adapted from Saveur magazine's recipe.

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Movie poster from Wikipedia

So, while the brownies were in the oven, I had a chain thought to "I should really watch The Lion in Winter one more time before I decide whether to sell it back to the used book store." So, I watched it. I have to say that it's really not the greatest movie ever. I haven't taken it to the used book store, but I probably should go ahead and do that. Thing is, the movie always seems like a good idea but then I watch it and think, "why did I just bother to sit through that?" Now you know I love Katharine Hepburn, but there it is. The movie has its moments, but I really enjoyed the play more. (I had a friend in high school who played Prince John in the production, so I'm sure that made it more fun, too.)

Edwardian illustration of Eleanor of Aquitaine

I think the real-life Eleanor of Aquitaine was much more interesting than how she's portrayed in The Lion in Winter. I've had a soft spot for her since reading A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver as a pre-teen. If you'd like to know more about Eleanor, she's featured in the first episode of historian Helen Castor's She-Wolves: England's Early Queens, which is a nice rundown of medieval and Tudor political wrangling. I spent so much time studying British politics in school but I still get a kick out of it. I really like watching Parliamentary debates, too, especially when they get all heated and call each other things like "semi-house-trained polecat" and "pig's bladder on the end of a stick." Paul and I call each other those things all the time, typically with English accent and in a public place. Lord knows what the people at the hippie grocery store think of us.

I do love that between Netflix and my Amazon prime account, I can watch pretty much any British comedy or drama I want (just a few months later) but they need to get with it when it comes to educational programming. I'm tired of having to watch Lucy Worsley on YouTube! The last time we were in London we were flipping through channels and there was a guy who was getting paid to go around France and see how things were now compared with the write-up in an old guidebook. That is seriously my kind of television.

*What a disorganized mess! I say "dinner" but it was really just a few slices of watermelon, a very sad crudité platter, and a very very sad antipasti platter, if it could be called that. The contents of the "meat" and "cheese" appeared predominately petroleum-based. We were really only there for a film co-sponsored by the Sierra Club but the video quality was so bad that it gave me a migraine AND there was no air conditioning (it was 95 degrees!). I told Paul when we left that I wasn't surprised that conservatives seem to have the upper hand around here. Maybe it's just that they run the A/C?

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1 comment:

  1. I watched THE LION IN WINTER awhile ago and I remember it as being so/so myself. Though Peter O'Toole is always interesting to watch. Didn't they all speak French in those days? Or a version thereof? I have an Eleanor of Aquitane bio here that I've been meaning to read for ages. I seem to be in a non-fiction mood lately, so maybe it's time. :)

    P.S. The brownie recipe sounds yum.

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