Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie: Tribute-to-Katharine-Hepburn Brownies

Long before the current landscape of fame, in which men and women become celebrities while having no discernible talent (I'm looking at you, Paris Hilton), being a Hollywood celebrity really meant something.

While there are still plenty of legitimately talented celebs out there - the Grammy and Oscar winners of the world come to mind - but when entertainment news tends to devote equal coverage to reality stars like Jon and Kate Gosselin as it does to Brad and Angelina, it makes me yearn for earlier days.

Sure, I wasn't born until decades after Hollywood's heyday, so maybe I hold a romanticized view of a past I wasn't even a part of. But when I think of true Hollywood glamour, I think of the heavyweights: Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn.

I have to admit, although I knew her name well, I didn't see my first Katharine Hepburn movie until I was in high school, when I watched "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" She acted with so much passion. It seems that she lived her life in much the same way.

According to Dorie Greenspan's introduction to this week's Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, Ms. Hepburn gave the following advice to her neighbour's daughter: "Never quit. Be yourself. And don't put too much flour in your brownies." Katharine Hepburn was my kind of woman.

This recipe, based on brownie recipes attributed to Ms. Hepburn, is unique in that it has a few secret ingredients: a bit of cinnamon and instant coffee, and of course, not a lot of flour. It's also heavy on the cocoa powder and sprinkled with chunks of chopped chocolate, giving it a rather dark flavour. The cinnamon and instant coffee add complexity, but aren't overpowering.

Some TWD bakers felt that this recipe turned out rather gooey. I left out the requisite nuts called for in the recipe and baked the brownies for an extra five minutes and found that they had a perfect texture: dense, chewy, but not undercooked. Chopped up into little chunks, the brownies were perfect in homemade vanilla ice cream.

Check out our special guest host, Lisa of Surviving Oz, for the recipe.


mike July 7, 2009 at 3:29:00 AM EDT  

My second favorite movie (Guess)! These look perfect Kait! Nice and thin, dense and delicious. Glad they turned out for you - they *are* quite easy to make, I think they're my new favorite brownie recipe. Great job!

Teanna July 7, 2009 at 9:42:00 AM EDT  

I think that extra five minutes must have been the trick! I did the same and mine looked just like yours - dense, fudgey and absolutely delicious! And I totally agree with you on the downfall of Hollywood! It is sad!! Save the movie star!

Chris July 7, 2009 at 12:13:00 PM EDT  

I also left out the nuts and baked an extra five minutes. They turned out absolutely perfect for me too!
Love Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - but Philadelphia Story will always be my fave.

Megan July 7, 2009 at 1:34:00 PM EDT  

Added to ice cream? You are my hero!

Anonymous July 7, 2009 at 2:01:00 PM EDT  

Yours look just perfect! I love KH, too, but The Philadelphia Story and The African Queen are my faves!

Anonymous July 7, 2009 at 2:18:00 PM EDT  

Your brownies look perfect! Great job.

Pamela July 7, 2009 at 10:10:00 PM EDT  

Making these brownies almost seemed too easy, didn't it? I love that we can toss these together really in no time at all. And I'm sure it was a stellar success with the ice cream!

matty July 7, 2009 at 11:03:00 PM EDT  

They went great with the ice cream!

Clivia July 8, 2009 at 5:44:00 PM EDT  

I think your photos perfectly capture the thin, dense deliciousness of these brownies. Well done! And I'm a huge fan of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

Steph July 8, 2009 at 10:13:00 PM EDT  

Your brownies look delicious!

TeaLady July 9, 2009 at 7:48:00 AM EDT  

Yep!! I dont' quess there will ever be a Tribute to Paris Hilton Brownies. HeeHee. There just aren't as MANY good actors as there were but some, thank goodness.

And good brownies too - yours look just right.

Kaitlin July 13, 2009 at 9:08:00 PM EDT  

@TeaLady: I hope not!

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