Tribute-to-Katharine-Hepburn Brownie Bites

Brownie bites generally fall into one of two categories: (1) dry and cakey or (2) fudgy and mushy.  Bleh.  Rarely do you come across a brownie bite that manages to retain all the best elements of the brownie’s larger, full-sized self: a crisp outer crust with a warm, gooey center.  When I set about finding a recipe that would live up to this dream, I went straight for the Big Book.

Brownie Bites in Pan

Having read some mixed reviews of the actual recipe for brownie bites, I decided to experiment with the infamous Tribute-to-Katharine-Hepburn Brownies.  The story has it that Katharine Hepburn’s rules to live by were (1) Never quit; (2) Be yourself; and (3) Never put too much flour in your brownies.  Well, ok then.  If it works for Katharine Hepburn, then it’s good enough for me!

Chopped Chocolate in Bowl

The word intense isn’t enough to describe the experience of biting into one of these tiny morsels.  Crisp all the way around, chunks of walnuts, gooey chocolate, and a slight hint of coffee.  These brownie bites defy categorization and somehow manage to perfectly translate into a party-sized serving.  They will disappear by the handful.  You’ll want to make a double batch of these.  Trust me.

Stack of Brownie Bites


Tribute-to-Katharine Hepburn Brownie Bites

Cook Time: 15 minutes


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons finely ground instant coffee
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a mini-muffin tin, set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Using a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Once melted, sift the cocoa powder over the butter and stir to combine.
- Add the instant coffee. Continue stirring until smooth and the butter is completely melted.
- Remove from heat and let sit at least 3 minutes, or until partially cooled.
- Using a whisk or rubber spatula, mix the eggs, one at a time, into the butter/cocoa mixture. Add vanilla and stir.
- Stir in the sugar. Stir in the dry ingredients. Stir in the nuts and chopped chocolate.
- Using two spoons, scoop the batter into the prepared mini-muffin tin.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until a dry, papery crust forms on the top but the brownies are still gooey. Let cool. Transfer to a wire rack. Attempt to wait until they are cool before devouring.

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours

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7 Responses to “Tribute-to-Katharine-Hepburn Brownie Bites”

  1. 1
    Robb Kushner — August 30, 2009 10:56 pm

    These brownies totally KICK ASS!!!
    They are way up there with the best I’ve ever had.
    Thanks, Katie!!!

  2. 2
    Fallon — August 31, 2009 12:33 am

    Wow your brownie bites look great! I love a brownie that is a little fudgy and cakey. I made on-the-fence brownies in the KA cookie companion book that came out great and also made little bites. Although they have more flour, sugar and cocoa compared to the KH brownies. This is a bookmark for future brownies.

  3. 3
    Frugal Kiwi — September 15, 2009 10:32 pm

    A delicious recipe and a funny quote, I love it. I’ll knock these up next time I’m in the mood for brownies and pop in Bringing Up Baby. Sounds like the perfect Girls’ Night In!

  4. 4
    tommy — May 5, 2010 11:29 am

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed the site. You have really put a lot of time into your content and it is just wonderfull!

  5. 5
    Menios — December 14, 2011 5:33 pm

    These little brownies are great and easy to make. I’m not a fan of chocolate or coffee, but my girlfriend is. They were good enough that she forgave me for breaking a knife trying to cut the chocolate – doing that by hand from now on!

  6. 6
    CK — December 18, 2012 9:44 pm

    OMG these are sooooo good!! So chocolaty and a perfect gooey/firm balance for a brownie. The mini muffin size is just right. Thank you for sharing this! :)

  7. 7
    Natalie — March 25, 2013 1:27 pm

    So the dark chocolate I had on hand was chili chocolate which gave these just a tiny bit more of an awesome kick that was AWESOME. Thank you!

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