Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cheese Buttons (AKA: Kase Knepfla)

One of my warmest childhood memories is having Cheese Buttons at my grandmothers house.  They were, hands down, my favorite food growing up and I still think of them as the ultimate in comfort food today.  When I first married my husband, he wasn't impressed by them...I am pretty sure they are growing on him too.  That could have something to do with that I have become much better at making them.  These may seem odd to all of you non-Germans out there, but give them a try!  I always serve these with canned peaches, because that is what grandma always did:0)

Cheese Buttons (Kase Knepfla)

2 1/2 c. flour
1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. water

2 c. dry curd cottage cheese 
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste

Finishing Ingredients:
Butter, 1/4-1/2 c.
Stale bread pieces (I use at least 5-6 pieces), torn
1 medium onion, sliced

Serve With:
Heavy Cream
Salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients together.  It will be a very stiff dough.  I find that it is very easy to use my Kitchen Aid bread hook to mix this.

Combine filling ingredients together.

Roll dough about 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 inch squares.  Place a spoon-full of filling on half on each square.  Fold dough over and pinch sides together securely to make the button (my grandma always made triangles instead, so that is what I usually do).

Put buttons into a kettle of slowly boiling salted water and cook for no more than 10 minutes (they are done when they float).  Boil and handle gently, or you may lose filling.

Fry Cheese Buttons in a large skillet with the other finished ingredients until lightly browned.

Drizzle with heavy cream and salt to taste.


  1. I'm going to have to try this! I am a Michigan German, which is more Polish, so we have a different set of foods. I've been wainting to try cheese buttons...those look yummy! And the family will at least like the canned peaches!

  2. I can't believe you don't invite me over for cheese buttons. Grandma used to have you + friends over. ;p

  3. Definitely going to have to try this! I don't remember my German stepgrandma making these, but her strudel was to DIE for!

  4. Yes! And I'm SO with you on the canned peaches too. Nice touch.

  5. I just happened across your blog- my mother and grandmother made these too! I love them, my wife and kids love them and I am only one to carry on the making tradition! Thanks for sharing this recipe with others...amazing! good stuff. :)

  6. We called them cheese pockets - absolutely LOVED them! My mother made them often, but I haven't made them in years! We also browned bread crusts to serve over them. YUM! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  7. My family has made these for years. We boil them only. We fry an onion in a pan filled with oil. Take out the onion. We take the excess dough from making kase knip and cut it into small squares and fry it in the oil. The squares puff up and are golden brown also nice and crunchy! - kresla. After the noodles have cooked we place some in a big bowl with the kresla (croutons) and continue to layer the bowl until full. We also add a little pasta water on the first layer so the pasta doesn't dry out. My grandpa would call the kase knip that would open and lose the filling flappers and they were his favorite. Also the leftover pasta water was put in a glass and drank but we don't do that now. The same dough is used to make a lot of the dough recipes including birdies. Our family has found that wonton wrappers work wonders in a pinch and just make up the dough for the kresla. Some of my distant cousins make it with a sweet dough. To our family that's blasphemy! My grandparents originally lived in Glen Ullin, North Dakota before moving to the Seattle area. We make multiple German dishes for Christmas eve and serve it with ham. At a normal dinner it would be with bratwurst.



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