P&Q Katherine Hepburn Brownies

Congratulations to our TWD logo winner >> Lisa of Surviving Oz.

Even though Lisa isn’t an official TWD baker, she will be continuing the tradition of posting the complete recipe as the hostess this week. Please feel free to link to her blog for the recipe.

55 thoughts on “P&Q Katherine Hepburn Brownies

  1. Okay, so these brownies — I baked them for 30 min, but Dorie says you can’t test for doneness; after slicing into the cooled brownies, they were brownie goo. Tasty, but not very structurally sound. If you like fudgey, make sure to refrigerate or even freeze them before slicing; another option is to bake for closer to 45 min. The coffee is pretty prominent, so if you’re not a fan, I’d halve it. I found them a little greasy, and would probably cut the butter by 1 Tbsp next time I make them and increase the flour to 1/3 cup.

  2. I underbaked mine, too, since it was late and I didn’t want to wait up any more. They were super gooey but the flavor was good. I’d echo all of Caitlin’s suggestions. :)

  3. I’d heard about the gooey issue and baked mine in a metal pan at 320 for 35 minutes. I used the King Arthur Divot Test for doneness and they were cooked perfectly. (Here’s a link to the test: http://tinyurl.com/lwqbaq ) Both the cinnamon and the coffee are noticeable flavors, so if you don’t like either, you can cut or eliminate it.

  4. I cut the recipe in half and baked it in two mini-loaf pans (5.75″ x 3″). I baked them for 24 minutes. I refrigerated before cutting to get a clean cut but then left them out at room temp. All of that seemed to work – they’re dense and fudgey but not gooey.

  5. I baked the brownies (the full recipe in a metal pan) for the suggested 30 minutes, and they were perfect – fudgy, but not gooey. Also, yes, the coffee flavor is pretty intense. I’ll halve it next time unless I’m intentionally making coffee-flavored brownies.

  6. I baked a couple of recipes recently and used a metal pan, baked as prescribed with no problems at all. They were a nice fudgey texture, although I do like under baked, ooooey goooey, a lot! The trio of coffee, cinnamon and chocolate flavors are very familiar to me so I enjoyed the variation. I drink strong black coffee and enjoy bittersweet chocolate so maybe that’s just my palate. Anyway, some were sent to my husband’s workplace and reports were favorable for a “brownie-bake off.” Bottom line, guess I liked ’em too. :-) No problems.

  7. I think instant coffee tastes like crap (although it does remind me of hostels in the UK). Anybody see a problem with subbing 2 tsp of liquid espresso and taking out 2 tsp of butter for the extra liquid? Or maybe 1 Tbsp butter to make the measurements easier.

    • Carla – the coffee granules are used to enhance the flavor of chocolate. Like you, I don’t like instant coffee, but I use it all the time in chocolate dishes. I like instant espresso granules, instead of just freeze dried coffee crystals.

      • So I should go for the instant coffee then and not be too disappointed? I think I have Nescafe brand and don’t have time (or money) to look for instant espresso before tomorrow.

      • Carla – I used instant coffee granules and ground them up with the back of a spoon before adding to the batter…. It seemed to work fine! Hope that helps!

  8. I have 2 questions. If I use a glass pan, do I need to adjust the oven temperature? I don’t think I have regular instant coffee, just the instant espresso powder we have used in previous recipes. Now that some have said the coffee flavor is strong, should I use halve the espresso powder if I use that? Thanks!

    • I also have only instant espresso (powder) and plan to use less.

      The “standard advice” for baking with glass pans is to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees F. Otherwise you can end up with burnt edges or underdone centers. I don’t know how it would work for this recipe.

    • I’m pretty sure instant coffee granules and instant espresso are mostly interchangeable in chocolate desserts. Since the amount of coffee flavor desired is largely a matter of personal opinion, how much you use is really up to you. (I guess I don’t know if you’re supposed to use less for the substitution.) I’d use halve the amount of coffee called for, just to play it safe.

    • I used an 8″ glass pyrex pan and didn’t change the oven temp. I did, however, bake it on a baking sheet so that the bottom didn’t get overdone. Baked for 30 minutes and they were fine–definitely fudgy in the middle, but not underdone to me.

  9. I baked these for the allotted 30 minutes and ended up with a fudge-like texture. Neither the cinnamon nor the coffee were particularly noticeable, just a pleasant background flavor.

  10. When I made these, I baked them for the alloted time and let them cool before cutting into them. Seeing how gooey they were, I stuck the pan in the fridge and chilled them until they were cold. At that point, they sliced easily and tasted yummy (even cold, which isn’t normally how I like brownies). I loved the flavor combination, as did the person I made them for. In fact, these are hands down my favorite brownies.

  11. These were delicious, but mine were gooey too. It was too late for me to follow Caitlin’s suggestions (but noted for next time!) but I am going to follow Leslie’s idea of chilling them before I cut them! I used about half as much instant coffee and a good (but not measured sprinkle of cinnamon) and neither flavor was noticeable…but they probably contributed to the very good and very rich chocolate flavor.

  12. These are so good – I’ve made them twice now. Both with the addition of the cinnamon and 1 tsp. espresso powder. I think they’re the perfect thickness (thin and rich). The hint of cinnamon adds a unique flavor and the espresso give it a mocha kick. If you left them out, you’d pretty much have a “chocolate brownie” – nothing wrong with that. They *were* fudgy though – which was nice with sweetened vanilla whipped cream. I baked mine at 300 for 45 minutes – and that “thin paper” top was perfect and even.

  13. Forgot to ask – what was the purpose of the parchment liner, if you don’t extend it up over the sides to lift it out? If you sprayed and floured, wouldn’t they still release? Just curious….

    • I did extend the parchment up on all sides and used it to pull the slab out and cut them on a cutting board. Otherwise, maybe because the gooey factor makes them hard to cut in the pan?

  14. I don’t like coffee so I cut the instant coffee to 1/4 tsp. I guess my tastebuds are sensitive, because I could still detect a coffee-bitterness. (I shudder to think what the whole amount would have tasted like.)

    They were still pretty good, and definitely fudgey.

  15. I just made these and substituted Splenda for the sugar and cinnamon chips for the chopped chocolate as I only have unsweetened chocolate on hand. When I took them out of the oven there was a bubbly oily surface on the top, I’m guessing from the butter and cinnamon chip combo. I poured off the greasy top and they are cooling now. The top is not flakey like brownies usually are, but I’m thinking that might be because of the Splenda? I just found out I have early diabetes, so thought I would experiment with this recipe. Not sure if it will end up in the trash can or not. They smelled great while cooking, but only time will tell. :(

  16. These were great brownies – the flavor combination of chocolate, coffee, cinnamon and nuts were a huge hit in our house! Once they came out of the pan (I had some trouble with that) – they didn’t last much longer than the time it took to bake them!

    When I was shopping for nuts – I found chopped macadamia nuts (one of my favorites) and substituted these along with semi-sweet chocolate. Both are personal favorites and we enjoyed the combination (along with a decent helping of vanilla ice cream!).

    We will enjoy these again – soon – in our house!

  17. I left out the walnuts, baked for 35 minutes, and then waited a little while before putting them on a cooling rack. They weren’t gooey at all – just perfect for me.

  18. I confess! I made changes to the recipe so they are more like the original Hepburn brownies…no coffee, cinnamon or cocoa…. Unsweetened chocolate instead. Perfect! Did the rest of you like the cinnamon and coffee?

    • The cinnamon and coffee combination was delicious and didn’t taste over-powering at all. We thought it was subtle and a pleasant taste.

      • I agree with Jeff – neither the coffee nor the cinnamon was particularly strong – just added a little kick (cinnamon) and intensified the chocolate flavor (coffee). They were great!

  19. Cynthia, I really like the walnuts, cinnamon, and I used Espresso powder in mine. I thought this flavor combination was a lovely enhancement to the chocolate. So, yes I enjoyed them. I keep Stella d’Oro Espresso powder on hand for chocolate.

    • I agree! The combination made the flavor very unique. And I also keep a jar of Stella on the pantry shelf. It’s about $3.69 a jar, but it lasts a long time – so much better than instant coffee, and you only need a small amount for the coffee “kick”.

  20. I made these last night. Good and fudgy – my favorite. But they didn’t rise at all. They were more like sad little flat squares. Anyone elses like this?

  21. I am going to have to pass on this recipe, as well as, the next 2 weeks. As always, I appreciate the Q&A and make notes. I will be traveling and will not be baking or posting. I am off to Central Mexico on an art and cultural tour, plus some Spanish and cooking classes. It will be a real adventure. Everyone have a great July. lola

  22. I just made these and they came out perfect. I made them in to minis and made one tiny loaf with the left over brownie batter. Coffee does not agree with my tummy, but I do like it. I left it out and put in 2 tsp of homemade chai tea, oatmeal, cinnamon chips, toasted coconut and slivered almonds. All the flavors mingling and the moist texture made these a brownie I will make over and over again. Oh I also cut off 10 min. of baking time.

    • Michelle, can I ask if you used 4 oz of cinnamon chips? Trying to figure out what went wrong with mine, but I think it was the Splenda substitution I made :( not the cinnamon chips

  23. How Not To Make These Brownies: Put flour in small bowl. Make brownie batter. Put pan in oven. Lick spoon. See bowl of flour on counter. Frantically pull out hot pan without oven mitts. Burn finger. Attempt to stir in flour. Rip foil. Pour into bowl. Replace foil. Replace batter. Put back in oven. Reset timer. Continue to lick spoon.

    Almost a disaster! Waiting for them to bake but now I see what you mean by the coffee enhancing the chocolate! Yummy!

  24. OMG, I’ve made these four times in the last week and LOVE them. I’ve left out the cinnamon and coffee each time and added lots of other goodies. This is my new favorite base for all kinds of brownies. They are perfectly dense and SO easy to make. I consider my 8×8 pan a little on the darker side, so I have always baked them 25 degrees less than the recipe suggests (300 degrees)–glass and dark metal pans should always be 25 degrees less. I’ve only baked mine 25 minutes each time and they are perfect. I LOVE these.
    (NO, I have not been the one to eat them all four times!) ;)

  25. I left out the walnuts (like my raisin problem, I often don’t like nuts IN baked goods. On top = yes, but not IN). And I used Dutch process cocoa (my bad! I don’t think it aversely affected the brownies though) and espresso powder cause that’s what I had. Baked for 30 minutes. No problems getting them out of the pan. Turned out great!! So easy and just my speed regarding flavor combo. I’ll certainly be making them again!

    And now I’m off to watch Philadelphia Story, brownie in hand, as a tribute…

  26. Is it me, or is her name spelled with an “a” Katharine, not Katherine? I just finished changing all the “e”s to “a”s on my post. But now I’m wondering…

  27. Mike-I double checked and it is Katharine. Thanks for saying something, I had used e’s!

    These brownies were delicious!!!!

  28. I am such a ditz….everyone knows stell d’oro is a flower… Gosh. what was I thinking???? here it is folks Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso coffee. Does this mean I’m really human, full of flaws? he he
    Have a great day everyone and enjoy your brownies if there are any left.
    Wonder how much editors are paid?

  29. I tip my pan to Miss Hepburn and Ms. Greenspan! Easy to make and tasty. I didn’t have instant coffee so I used instant espresso, I think it was fine. Also had to substitute a heart shape pan that was close to 8 inch square (which I don’t have). Forgot to add the vanilla while mixing, so adding to the batter surface in the pan. Oops! It lasted about six hours at work the next day!

  30. I actually made these brownies twice. We’re not big fans of coffee flavoring in our chocolate but I wanted to make them with the recipe as written just to see if we liked them. Then I made the second batch without the coffee flavoring and without the cinnamon and we actually liked that batch better. They are very rich and ooey gooey and the family loves them.

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