Katharine Hepburn, New York City, 1938 © Alfred Eisentaedt

Fiercely independent New Englander Katharine Hepburn was a great many things – and you can add accomplished baker to the list of her myriad life achievements. Hepburn still holds the record (of any gender) for the number of times she has been nominated for an Academy Award ® (that would be four times) and her filmography has gifted audiences with the likes of Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, Woman of the Year, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, The African Queen, The Lion in Winter, and On Golden Pond, among so many more. An utterly modern women, she was an early suffragette, lived independently for the majority of her life, shunned dresses for comfortable trousers before it was socially acceptable to do so, and infused the silver screen with her distinctively assertive and self-assured persona, challenging conceptions about the role of women in culture and society throughout her life and career. And she made some killer brownies.

Suggested viewing to enjoy with your brownies, we offer the sassy 1937 backstage classic Stage Door, an RKO film directed by Gregory La Cava. Adapted from the play of the same name written by Edna Ferber (Giant) and George S. Kaufman (You Can’t Take it With You), it tells the story of several would-be actresses who live together in a boarding house in New York City. The film stars not only Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, and Andrea Leeds, it features minor cameos from rising stars Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, and Ann Miller. Stage Door is also notable for its oft-quoted Hepburn signature line: “The calla lillies are in bloom again.”

Stage Door is available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, and Apple TV



  • ½ cup cocoa or 2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened baker’s chocolate
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans


Melt butter with the cocoa or chocolate together in a heavy saucepan over medium low, whisking constantly till blended. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and walnuts. Mix well. Pour into a well buttered 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and cut into squares. These brownies are very fudgy and may be somewhat difficult to slice cleanly; use a sharp knife and a spatula to help them loosen from the baking dish.