Monday, December 8, 2014

Holy Moly! The Ultimate Katharine Hepburn Brownie


Holy Moly! I've deserted you again. But I'm back; at least for awhile. Phoenix called and wanted everything removed so they could actually park in a garage again. That is what a garage is for, according to some people. So back to Phoenix  I went and this time with Manservant. And this time he really was. A Manservant, I mean. We finally rented a U Haul to transfer some of their belongings to other worthy homes, such as my brother's and mine. And in all fairness this only took about a month since they settled, so I think we did it pretty quick.



This did involve going into four different storage areas plus the said garage, so coordination was required and I'm happy to say all went smoothly even though my parents didn't know where their stuff was being stored. Luckily someone did! IDR moving was great and if you are ever in the Phoenix area and need a mover, they are spectacular. They moved my parents and they helped pack our U Haul, which I was sure wouldn't hold everything; but it did.



We arrived back in Denver by way of Santa Fe, which is one of my favorite places in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. Always stop in Santa Fe whenever you can. It has been way too long since I've been there.


 Before arriving there we traversed New Mexico and stopped in Pie Town. We had just seen this two cafe town featured on a CBS news morning show which declared that there were always pies in Pie Town.



Clearly CBS news didn't get their facts straight. There were no pies in Pie Town on Friday. We drove an extra 40 minutes to discover this. We even Googled before we went.

After saving my appetite for pies, I was greatly disappointed. Both cafes were closed. CLOSED! So now I am really in the mood for baking a pie. For 300 miles we were discussing what flavor of pie we would get. What a bummer. Holy Moly. But right next to Pie Town were these windmills. I have no idea what they were doing. But they were cool. 



And then we discovered this VLA (Very Large Array) telescope site that Manservant says is for listening to see if there are really signs of life in the outer universe. I am sure they heard us talking about the lack of pies in Pie Town, though.



So, Holy Moly. I now have a garage of stuff. I feel like a kid in a candy store. We brought home a king size mattress set that had only been used in their guest house, which means that we were probably the only ones that slept on it. So yesterday we moved out our mattress of at least 27 years (kind of gross, huh?) and put on this one and I slept like a baby last night. My back feels so much better. And a word to the wise. It is not fun being 5' tall and moving two sets of mattresses with a Manservant who is 10" taller. But we did it. What a team!

I also have assorted boxes and some new old cookbooks.I have a new kitchen table and a few pieces of furniture. Not too much, but enough that I need to rearrange to figure out where to put it. The truth is that I love decorating!  And pillows. My Mom had tons of pillows of the "put under your head variety" filled with sweet, soft down. Now Zoe can have a new pillow when she gets home! And we have the elephant that I always wanted. The story is told that on my parents first trip to Hawaii my father carted him home by carrying him onto the plane. Imagine doing that now!


 We also have various items of artwork and they will wish they gave us more because they do not have enough wall space to put it all on, but that is now their problemo! I do now have this great piece that my mother did. Kind of reminds me of New Mexico and Colorado, and I'm not sure she knew I took it. I love it, Mom!


And last but not least-we have wine. Cases and cases of wine. So much wine that we had a wonderful 2006 Syrah with our Smashburger last night. Maybe that's why I slept so well... My mother bought wine like she buys shoes. We have 10 cases of fabulous wine that needs to be drunk now. Yes, mom was apparently quite a prolific buyer about 15 years ago. Luckily, she has great taste and now we are the proud owners of everything she couldn't drink. How we are going to drink it all is beyond me, but we will sure give it a good try. Holy Moly. 

So now here I am. I've been going crazy because this is the time for blogging. This is the time when everyone is looking for the next great recipe to feed their family during these festive holiday weeks. And I have been absent. ABSENT. And I have a lot more to do now than cook. But just like I'm going to give it a fighting chance to drink that wine, I'm going to try to give you lots of great things to eat! 


 Let's start with brownies. I have a hard time deciding between brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Brownies are great when you don't have time to wait around between baking trays of cookies. This is one of my favorite brownie recipes of all time as it is fudgy and full of chocolate. The texture is gooey and dense and totally worth going off your diet for. Oh. I forgot we don't diet over the holidays, do we? 

I load these brownies with all kinds of goodness, but they are also great just kept simple and plain. Toasted walnuts though are superb for texture and taste. Yes, these are attributed to Katharine, and I admit to loving anyone who is an alumna of my daughter's alma mater. I however, baked these long before my daughter chose Bryn Mawr to attend for college. Who knows? Maybe they subliminally pointed they way. Holy Moly. Just bake the brownies. You won't be sorry.


The Ultimate Katharine Hepburn Brownie
16-32 servings
Time to prepare: About 15 minutes Time to Bake: About 40 minutes

Ingredients:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 c sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
11/2 t vanilla
1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1-2 c toasted walnuts
1 c white chocolate chips (optional)
1 c bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
1 c semisweet chocolate chips  (optional)
1 c raisins (optional)
1 c coconut (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325. Butter and cocoa a 13 x 9 pan. Melt chocolate with butter either in a microwave or on stove. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth. Stir in flour, salt and nuts and mix. Add other optional items at this point if you want. Spread these into prepared pan. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few fudgey crumbs stuck to it. Don't over bake. Let cool before cutting.

Oh, and I almost forgot. The winner of the Whole Foods giveaway for November is: Priscilla S!

Other Great December Eats:
Gingerbread Waffles
Shakshuka in Purgatory
Savory Sweet Potato Latkes
Potato Latkes
Spritz Cookies
World Peace Cookies
Chocolate Krantz Cake or Babka
Chicken Scarpariello


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40 comments:

  1. Holy Moly Abbe! YOu had a lot on your plate! You shouldn't be worrying about blogging. However, I have to say again- HOly MOLY to these brownies - they look amazing!

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    1. Thanks Anna and Liz. It has been a lot, but it needed to be done. And yes, the brownies are amazing!

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  2. Ten cases of wine? Party at your house! :-) We can all talk abut what a travesty it was that there was no pie in Pie Town. That ought to be against the law. Really fun post, really great brownies -- thanks.

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    1. You are invited, of course! And you can bring pie. I figure if they have beer and donut cafes, there must be one somewhere with wine!

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  3. Welcome back Abbe! Glad you had safe, successful travels. And what a way to start back - with a recipe like this! Chips and raisins and nuts - oh my is right! You've worked hard and deserve a splurge - enjoy!

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    1. Thanks Tricia. We were lucky that the weather was great the entire way! These are great brownies and thanks!

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  4. Hi Abbe, good for you! love the elephant table and the painting, your mom must be a wonderful artist. Also who could resist anything with the name Katherine Hepburn. Happy Holidays!

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    1. Isn't he cute? And yes, my mom is quite talented! Katherine Hepburn really made a legend of these. Happy Holidays to you and thanks, Cheri!

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  5. Welcome back - glad that trip was a success, even if you didn't get the damn pie. And if I lived in the area, I'd definitely help you drink all the wine! :D Hugs!

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    1. Damn girl! You rock. And I'd love to rock with wine and brownies.

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  6. Welcome back again, Abbe. I hope that was a final trip before the big holiday.
    These brownies look heavenly!
    Have a relaxing and lovely holiday season!
    Angie

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  7. Welcome home, Abbe! You may never leave your home again if you have a supply of these brownies and all of that wine! Enjoy your holiday cooking, looking forward to seeing it here on your blog.

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    1. So true, Holly! Now if I only have time to cook!

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  8. Ooo..these look so good, Abbe. Where do you find the energy! Will you be posting a picture of the old cookbooks in one of your blog posts? I would love to see it! ^.^

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    1. Totally out of energy and running on fumes! I'll see what I can do on photos!

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  9. Welcome back! That pie story is so disappointing - no pies?! :-( These brownies look really great - very thick and decadent.

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    1. No pies! But I did have a great piece of my friend's cherry pie last night!

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  10. Oh, boy, you win daughter of the year award! And Manservant gets honorable mention (though not in the daughter category ;))! So glad you have some treasures for your house! Bummer on the pies, but it looks like you worked some fun into your trip. I've made these brownies...DELISH. I should whip up another batch over the holidays...my family is always game for brownies and chocolate chip cookies, too. Hope to see you next time I'm in Denver. xo

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    1. I hope I see you too Liz. You have an open invite for dinner! Yes, these are great brownies! But Katherine was great with everything!

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  11. Between brownies and cookies, I would have also chosen brownies... These look amazing!
    I am glad that you had safe travels and your parents had a smooth move. Wishing you all happy holidays!

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    1. You to, Denise! Definitely because brownies are quick!

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  12. These brownies look AMAZING! What is with all of the brownie recipes on the blogosphere lately? Why do I want to devour them all?

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    1. I have no idea, Cathleen, except that brownies always work!

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  13. No pie in Pie Town? Of all the nerve!!! Too bad you didn't have any of Katherine's brownies with you. Life's disappointments are so much easier to take when you've got a tasty, chocolate-y brownie in your hand. :)

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    1. You got that right, John! Brownie pie, anyone?

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  14. I could use a new mattress and a glass of wine, and movie star brownies too. GREG

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    1. The mattress is amazing Greg~ Totally made the trip worth it. Well, that and the wine!

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  15. Hi Abbe,

    Welcome back to blogging! Your ultimate brownies looks truly ultimate... It is a sweet beginning after all the travels and move :D

    Zoe

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    1. Thanks Zoe! I always love to hear from you!

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  16. Katherine Hepburn is one of my family heroes, she is so amazing :D
    Abbe these brownies would definitely honour her awesomeness in the most delicious way!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  17. Wow, what a haul. I'm most impressed by the wine and your mother's art work :) Well a new mattress would be absolutely welcome in our home also!

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    1. Mom will be happy to hear that. And she is quite prolific, so if you are interested.... Why did it take us so long to realize we needed a new mattress?

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  18. What an adventure! And no pie in Pie Town. Good Heavens Batman!!!! 10 cases of wine---TEN. I am sooooo envious. You are a wonderful daughter!!!! Love the brownies and the name of them.

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    1. You really need to do a story about Pie Town Carol! Regarding the wine. We don't know where to start.Manservant is actually looking it all up so we know what we have drunk!

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