In honor of Independence Day, WTTW's World of Food blog explored the history of some dishes invented in America (not apple pie, hot dogs, mac 'n' cheese, or French fries – none of those originated here!). Interested in making some of the foods for your Fourth of July celebrations? We've previously posted recipes for Martha Stewart's Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies and America's Test Kitchen's Korean Fried Chicken Wings – similar to the American Buffalo wings. Find one more made-in-America recipe here.
Katharine Hepburn's Brownies
One of America's favorite actresses also had a killer brownie recipe. A neighbor of hers received the recipe when he brought her a batch while she was recovering from a car accident. After trying one, she critiqued it and gave him her own recipe, which his daughter published in The New York Times after Hepburn's death in 2003. Brownies were invented in Chicago at the Palmer House Hotel during the 1893 World's Fair.
½ cup cocoa or 2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened baker's chocolate
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans
1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Melt butter with the cocoa or chocolate together in a heavy saucepan over medium low, whisking constantly till blended.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and walnuts. Mix well.
4. 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.
5. 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.