Tuesdays with Dorie: A Brownie and a Movie

July 7, 2009

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is Tribute to Katharine Hepburn Brownies. Apparently, Ms Hepburn made a mean brownie, and this is Dorie Greenspan’s version of her recipe.

KH Brownies

I am no Katharine Hepburn expert, but when I saw that this recipe was selected, I immediately thought of the movie Desk Set. The short story on the movie is that Katharine Hepburn works in the research department of a major broadcasting company. Enter Spencer Tracy, an efficiency expert, and his gigantic “electronic brain” named EMERAC. Will Hepburn and Tracy fall in love? Will the research department be replaced by a machine? Will someone push that giant button on EMERAC, even after being told to never touch it? Watch the movie and find out! And munch on a brownie (or four) while watching!

Image from amazon.com

Image from amazon.com

OK…brownie time

What I did: I made half a recipe and baked it in two mini-loaf pans. I did not include the cinnamon or nuts. For the instant coffee, I used instant espresso. For the chopped chocolate, I chopped some Guittard bittersweet chocolate discs. The discs are awesome because they’re so easy to chop!

How it went: This recipe came together easily. I was nervous, though. I’ve been making the same brownie recipe for many years because it turns out for me. This was the first time trying a different recipe in a long time. The batter came together nicely and I baked the small pans for 24 minutes. After cooling, I  loosened up the edges and they popped right out of the pan. I was glad that I followed the instructions to butter the pans and use parchment, even though I was tempted to take a shortcut and just spray the pans. I chilled them before cutting and then left them at room temperature before tasting.

How it tasted: These are a dense, chocolaty, butter-rich indulgence. Best served in small pieces (even if you have more than one). I loved the taste and especially loved the texture. If I were taking brownies to a picnic, I’d probably go for something less rich, because that’s the type of occasion when you’d like to have a big hunk o’ brownie in your hand. While I didn’t feel that these needed any further embellishment like frosting or whipped cream, I do wonder how they’d be cut into tiny bits and mixed in with ice cream. I have a feeling I wouldn’t be disappointed. My husband gave these a thumbs-up and described them as a “sophisticated brownie.”

Would I make this again?: These are going in the file for when I need a really rich chocolate bite and as an idea for an ice cream mix-in.

Lisa of Surviving Oz. Lisa had the honors of selecting this week’s recipe because she designed the new Tuesdays With Dorie logo. It’s great! Don’t you love the Eiffel Tower? Although Lisa is not a TWD member, she baked along with us and you can see the recipe here.



  1. they sound super rich. yours seemed to have more structure than the others i’ve seen. good to know it can be halved and done in loaf pans. what was the baking time in the mini loaf pans?

    • I put the pans directly on the oven rack (rather than on a baking sheet as instructed in the recipe) and baked for 24 minutes. That worked for me!

  2. They look SO GOOD! Desk Set sounds like a great movie – I am going to have to put it on my Netflix!

  3. Agreed – these were so rich! A little goes a long way.
    I can’t believe I have not seen Desk Set – off to Netflix!

  4. We thought the same thing at our house. My husband ate one and said if he ate anymore he would vomit. Not something you eat a big chunk of. They look beautiful.

  5. I love KH but have not seen Desk Set. I *love* The Philadelphia Story! Nice looking brownies!

  6. These were truly fantastic…I would like very much to have some crumbled up in some ice cream! YUMMY!

  7. They look amazing! I liked cutting them small not only because they’re so rich, but I could have two without feeling I was going overboard (it’s all about the rationalization!)

  8. I havent seen that movie – it looks great! as do your brownies

  9. I ended up cutting mine in half because they were so super rich. They would make a nice petit four on a pastry platter, though. And I went the spray only on the bottom and they came out fine. Thanks for the visit.
    Keep it Sweet,

  10. I bet these would be fantastic mixed into ice cream. Great idea! I loved these and though they were rich my husband and I managed to eat half the pan last night. I was worried we would eat them all before we got a photo. I am always surprised at directions to butter parchment and rarely do, mine came off the paper just fine.

  11. Your brownies look delicious! Love your post. I loved the texture, too.

  12. First…I must rent that movie because EVERYONE seems to be mentioning it in their posts today. Sadly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it. And the idea of using this brownie as an ice cream mix in is utter brilliance!!

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a KH movie, thanks for the recommendation of Desk Set. I think I will have to try these again and I love the idea of using them in ice cream.

  14. I made mine into minis and one little mini loaf pan. I thought they were so good! Im glad you enjoyed them.

  15. Um, you have a go-to brownie recipe? And you haven’t shared?

    I’ll wait, really…….

  16. Sophisticated brownie – that seems fitting for Katharine Hepburn! These really were super rich, and definitely need to be cut into small pieces. I think you’re instincts are right – these would be tailor made for ice cream bits! Your brownies look perfect!

  17. Your brownie looks awesome. I’m glad you liked them.

  18. Well… not sure I’ll watch the movie, but I sure will make the brownies again. Although… not in the summer! LOL Even if never too hot to eat them… it can absolutely be too hot to make them! lol

    Very nicely done, Jill!

  19. Oh Desk Set! What a funny movie. Thanks for reminding me of it. Yes, the brownies are rich, but glad you enjoyed.

  20. Brownies IN ice cream. Great idea. We ate ours WITH and they were very rich and chocolatey. Definitaly a keeper.

    Yours look really moist and chewy. AAHHHH!!!!

  21. I’ve never seen Desk Set, so now I have something I want to see! You’re right about these – they’d be great for an ice cream mix in. Yours look great!

  22. Ooh, see, now since I loved them so much and made them so many times in so many different varieties, I didn’t think of ice cream and since I’m ice cream queen right now, that’s a super idea. You’re right–they are smaller bite brownies! Great job.

  23. I thought these needed a ice cream accompaniment too–I love the thought of them chopped up in ice cream! Glad you liked them!

  24. Your brownies look fantastic!

  25. Your brownies look fantastic! And I love your idea of mixing them in with ice cream – a great idea for the vanilla ice cream coming up! =)

  26. Your brownies look superb! I had never heard of The Desk Set until about a week ago when I saw it on sale at target – I am now sorry I didn’t pick it up.

  27. Oooh, you’re absolutely right, these would be perfect mixed in ice cream.

    Nice job, they look delish!

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