Friday, September 2, 2016

Literary Palate: Pensione Emerson Cookies

And now, for the post to kickstart a new beginning! I know how much you guys loved the Thornton Cupcakes, and these cookies are something I made a little while back and loved how they turned out! So, I made some more tonight and decided to share them with you!

Our Inspiration

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
(picture taken from Goodreads)

I read this book two years ago and loved it! Here's a link to the review I posted about it.

Our Creation

Pensione Emerson Cookies

I know this is not the name of the pension in A Room with a View, but I wanted to name these cookies after my favorite characters, the Emersons, while also giving the name a relevant Italian touch. They are blood orange olive oil cookies, sprinkled with a little extra dried orange peel on top. They are delicious and buttery-tasting with (I like to think) a touch of sophistication and passionate love!

The Recipe

2 cups granulated cane sugar
1 cup blood orange olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons finely grated dried orange peel
3 cups unbleached organic flour

Stir sugar, olive oil, orange juice, and eggs together until well-mixed. Mix in salt, baking powder, and orange peel. Add one cup of flour at a time until well-mixed, no dry ingredients still showing. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop about a spoonful of cookie dough for each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes. Change temperature to 425 F and bake for two more minutes for browning. Pull out of oven, let cool, garnish with a little extra orange peel or a dash of powdered sugar if desired, and enjoy!

You can easily use unflavored olive oil and still get a delicious taste. I've also substituted other citrus juices and had a good result. I have included the type of ingredients that I usually use, but you are welcome to substitute with what you can or prefer to eat. I almost always tweak recipes that I use anyway. Just make sure you're aware that altered fat content/dry-wet ingredient ratio/etc. will alter the consistency of the cookies; adjust other ingredients accordingly. If you want, the dough is pliable enough to pipe into pretty shapes. And if you make bigger cookies, bake them a bit longer. These are pretty forgiving.

For Your Comparison
Helena Bonham Carter as Lucy Honeychurch and Julian Sands as George Emerson

view from the Pensione Bertolini in the 1985 movie production

I know I promised you all more of these Literary Palate posts, and MaryAnn and I have come up with several flavors since the Thornton cupcakes, so hopefully it won't be long! If there's anything you'd like to know about our processes or inspirations, please comment and I'll do my best to answer. Also, if you have any suggestions for book or fandom inspirations, recipes to try, tweaks to recipes, throw them my way! And I'd love to hear how yours turn out if you make some!


  1. Woot! Totally trying these next time I bake cookies.

    I've never heard of blood orange olive oil. I'll have to look around -- I'd like to try it.

    1. It's delicious. I think the flavor is infused in the olive oil. I found it at a small olive oil and balsamic vinegar specialty shop in my hometown, but I believe it's available online. It is pretty pricey, though, so I use regular EVOO (which is also delicious in these cookies) when I don't feel like shelling out the dough. You could possibly add a little more juice or a bit of orange extract for a bit of an extra kick instead, although I have no idea how that would turn out! Good luck! Let me know how it goes!