About this recipe
Why Marjoram Butter Cookies?
The genesis of this recipe came from a few themes in Malinda’s cooking. First, she had several cookie recipes that were like each other. I picked the one I thought would be the softest. This recipe includes sour cream. I also think Malinda must have been had a special place for marjoram.
Marjoram has a name recognition problem. It’s not the star her cousin oregano is. So, it’s called different names depending on where you see it. It’s margery in the 1800s and in Malinda’s book. In India, it’s called Marva.
Malinda used marjoram or margery in many recipes in this book. She’s letting the ingredient shift into a form that suits the occasion. I’ve picked up on that cue in the Malida Russell episode. We have marjoram salt. We have marjoram cookies. And we have marjoram as a spice in the main course.
Most people have heard of marjoram, but I don’t think it’s used as regularly as say oregano or basil. It’s also mostly used in savory dishes, not sweet ones like a cookie. But you know me. I like to try things.
I tasted a bit of marjoram with a bit of sugar when testing this recipe, and it was good, actually great. It’s not uncommon to see rosemary in sweet dishes. This recipe is the same idea, but just using sweet marjoram.
If you’ve never had it, marjoram is like milder oregano. It’s somewhere between mint and thyme. It’s quite versatile if you get used to using it. I think it works well in this recipe. So did my friends that ate it.
You can serve these marjoram butter cookies on their own. But, I served them as a sandwich cookie. I just put a dollop of preserved orange cream on one cookie, then topped it with another cookie. They are delightful this way too.
We enjoyed this recipe with Sauternes. These are sweet white wines from France, in Bordeaux, in the southwest of France. Normally, they are made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.
The grapes are allowed to be infected with “noble rot”. This fungus depletes the water content in the grape and concentrates the sugars. That’s part of the reason Sauternes is sweet. Fog and humid conditions make it easier for this fungus to take hold.
This wine tends to be expensive. But it’s worth trying at least once. Even if you aren’t a fan of sweet wine, seek this one out. Just make sure you serve it correctly to get the best of its flavors. It’s best at about 60 degrees.
When served slightly chilled, the wine is less syrupy. And you’ll get the best of its honey, peach, and walnut flavors. At least, that’s what I tasted in the wines we enjoyed with these cookies.
A classic pairing with Sauternes is foie gras. Any other foods that are rich (oily) and livery (with lots of iron) will also go well with this wine. Here are a few ideas of this sort: chicken liver pate, mussels with sauteed and caramelized onions, or sweet and sour brassicas (broccoli, kale, etc.) But it also pairs well with fruit such as pears, apricots, and prunes. Finally, soft cheeses such as brie, chevre, or blue cheese are great with this wine.
I think this pairing with the cookie works well because of the nutty character of Sauternes. The nutty notes in oven-baked butter and the hint of walnut flavor in the Sauternes complement each other. The cookies are also oily, which is great with this wine.
- Chateau Miselle Sauternes
- Chateau Belingard Monbazillac
Some other wines to pair with marjoram butter cookies are:
- White Ice Wines
- Tokaji Aszú
- Sweet Muscat
- Sweet Riesling