Generally my husband eats whatever I make us for dinner. He is fairly easy to please. Lately though, he was requesting cheese buttons. His dad and grandma used to make them using cottage cheese or eggs. And truth be told, I didn’t want to do the work. Luckily, I remembered that my virtual friend, Prairie Californian, had posted a lazy way to make this sturdy German main dish. I used her recipe and added a few things to suit what I had on hand and my husband’s tastes. I think they turned out great. However, I have never had his dad and grandma’s original buttons and I’m sure they don’t quite compare.
I topped our easy cheese buttons with caramelized onions with garlic, venison sausage and some fresh parsley for a pop of color.
Easy Cheese Buttons, just slightly adapted from Prairie Californian
- 1 large (1 1/2 lb.) 24 oz. carton cottage cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 – 1 full pint heavy cream
- 1 onion, sautéed in 1 Tablespoon butter
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 – 1 lb. venison bacon, cooked and diced
- 2 heaping Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Mix all the ingredients for the buttons together in a large bowl. Place rounded tablespoons full of the mixture on a well greased baking sheet. Mine fit on two jelly roll pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, switching pans on oven racks at 10 minutes. While buttons are cooking, prepare sautéed onion. Place 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a pan, add onions and let sauté until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. At the last minute or two add minced garlic and cook. Add cooked venison sausage to pan and stir to combine. Place baked cheese buttons in a 9×13 casserole dish, top with cream and sautéed onion mixture. Bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top with fresh parsley and serve.
In typical German fashion, these are basically pillows of dough. I find most German cooking to be quite bland. I prefer spice and seasoning. However, these buttons are meant to be simply seasoned with salt and pepper and elevated with the butter and cream. You could certainly skip topping them with bacon or onions, but I think they really add to the dish.
These are the buttons after they first cook. They puff up nicely, almost like cookies.
And here is the dish straight from the oven and then topped with parsley for a fresh bite and color. I only used a half pint of cream (that’s all I had!) but you could easily use a full pint.
Dig in – be sure to get bacon, onions, garlic and cream with each spoonful!
If you have anyone in your family that grew up eating cheese buttons, try this easier to make dish for them. They will love it. Enjoy!