Soft Farmer’s Cheese Cookies – “Гусиные Лапки” (Geese Feet)

My Mom used to make these cookies all the time, especially when I was a little girl. Slavic people use farmer’s cheese in so many different ways, and this is one of the perfect examples of combining such simple ingredients for an amazingly delicious treat. These are still my favorite cookies.

These cookies are given such a unique name, ”Гусиные Лапки” (Geese Feet, pronounced gusinie lapki), because of their shape. They sure do look like tiny little webbed geese feet! The dough is based on farmer’s cheese, butter, flour and eggs. How simple is that? It comes together in minutes and can be made ahead of time, since it needs time in the refrigerator to chill.

A perfect mouthful of flaky and tender dough, these cookies are crunchy on the outside from being baked into gorgeous golden crispness, but also from being dipped in sugar. Fill your cookie jars with dainty, delicate darlings. They don’t usually last long at my house, and there’s only the two of us for now:)

Start will chilled butter. I usually wait until butter is on sale and then really stock up. I store the excess butter in the freezer and whenever my stockpile in the refrigerator starts to run out, I refill. For this recipe, it is even better to use frozen butter. Grate it on a box grater. Try to do this as quickly as possible to prevent the butter from melting. 

You need little pieces of cold butter throughout the dough, which will make the cookies rise and form many layers of flaky dough by melting  as the cookies bake. You can find farmer’s cheese in Russian or Polish stores. It’s called tvorog (творог), in Russian. It’s also sold in regular grocery stores. Here’s the one I bought in Publix, which is located next to the cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc. You can also make it at home, and it’s not hard at all – Homemade Farmer’s Cheese - Творог. Add the farmer’s cheese and flour.

Use your hands to quickly mix the ingredients together. It will be a very dry and crumbly texture. Add the egg yolks and water. Mix the dough until it starts to come together. It will be pretty stiff and may seem as if there is not enough liquid in it. Don”t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. I usually dump it on the counter at this point and knead it very quickly so that it comes together better. Form the dough into a disc and wrap it up in aluminum foil. Refrigerate for at least an hour, giving the dough plenty of time to chill. You won’t be able to roll the dough out very well if it’s not hard enough. If you’re in a hurry and need to hurry this process along, put the dough in the freezer. I’ve also kept the dough in the refrigerator for days and they came out perfectly. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Break off part of the dough and roll out pretty thinly on a well floured surface. (Keep the rest of the dough refrigerated when you’re not using it.) Use a biscuit cutter (about 3 inches), an overturned cup or glass (preferably with thin edges) or anything else that is round and will be able to cut through the dough and  press out as much circles from the dough as possible. Save the scraps, scrunch them into a little ball and refrigerate until it’s firm again. Put the sugar into a bowl and press one side of  the circle of dough into the sugar. Fold it in half to form a half moon shape. Press one side into the sugar again, fold it in half and press one of the sides in the sugar. Since there is no sugar in the dough, this will sweeten the cookies. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place the cookies sugar side up on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and golden. They taste SO good when they’re still warm, we usually finish off a portion as soon as they are cool enough to chew with a cold glass of milk of a cup of tea or coffee. They are also perfect to take with you for snack at your lunch break at work or even when you travel. I took these with us last time we flew to  visit my family in New York.  What a great little treat!

Soft Farmer's Cheese Cookies -
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 80-100 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter, chilled
  • 7.5 oz farmer's cheese
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons water, cold or chilled
  • ½-1 cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Grate the chilled butter on a box grater.
  2. Add the farmer's cheese and flour. Use your hands to quickly mix the ingredients together. It will be a very dry and crumbly texture.
  3. Add the egg yolks and water. Mix the dough and knead on the counter until it comes together.
  4. Form the dough into a disc and wrap it up in aluminum foil. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Break off part of the dough and roll out pretty thinly on a well floured surface.
  7. Use a biscuit cutter (about 3 inches), an overturned cup or glass (preferably with thin edges) or anything else that is round and will be able to cut through the dough and press out as much circles from the dough as possible.
  8. Save the scraps, scrunch them into a little ball and refrigerate until it's firm again.(Also keep the rest of the dough refrigerated when you're not using it.)
  9. Put the sugar into a bowl and press one side of the circle of dough into the sugar.
  10. Fold it in half to form a half moon shape. Press one side into the sugar again, fold it in half and press one of the sides in the sugar.
  11. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place the cookies sugar side up on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and golden.

 

 

 

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Comments

      • Paramitha Nasimova says

        I’m eager to try your recipe, think will be good to eat with double cream and some fresh strawberry (yuuummm *drooling*) One question, can we use different cheese like ricotta?

        • olgak7 says

          Paramitha and Lena,
          I’m not sure if you can substitute ricotta in this recipe. I’ve never made it with anything other than farmer’s cheese. Ricotta is a lot more moist than farmer’s cheese, so I’m not sure. If you try it, let me know how it turns out, I’m really curious.

          • Paramitha Nasimova says

            Hai Olga,

            Because I couldn’t find farmer’s cheese in the place where I lived, so I decided to use ricotta instead. But when I went for shop, I changed my mind! :D I used cottage cheese for this recipe but before I use it, I threw the liquid that came up with cottage cheese using cheesecloth. I didn’t know exactly what the difference if I used farmer’s cheese, with mine it turned out like puff pastry, crispy outside and soft inside just like you said :D Only the problem when I made it, I didn’t read instruction very careful. I covered all cookies with sugar, so when I baked the sugar under cookies burnt! Hahhahahaa! I know, I shouldn’t cover all, but only one side! But then again I’m happy with the result, cos I made second batch after! (still curious :p) I really like this cookie! And yes I ate it with fresh strawberry and double cream, yum! Thank you Olga! ;)

          • olgak7 says

            Hi Paramitha!
            Thanks for writing to let me know the results! Next time I’ll know that cottage cheese or ricotta can be substituted for the farmer’s cheese:). It really sounds delicious to serve it with strawberries and cream. Yum!

          • iryna says

            I made this today they turned out really good I didn’t have farmenrs cheese I’ve made the with cream cheese turned out just as good

  1. Natalia says

    I really liked those cookies when I was younger:) it reminds me of my childhood, I should make those pretty soon. :) thanks Olga for all those great Russian receipts. When I read your receipts, it reminds me of my Belarus life. :)

    • olgak7 says

      Hi Natalia!
      I’m so glad you like the recipes! There is something so special about the recipes that have been made and enjoyed for generations. I especially love cooking food that is from my Slavic heritage:).

  2. Lena Hermann says

    This looks delish! Will ricotta work just as well, if I don’t have any farmer’s cheese? Thanks!

    • Maria Shevtsov says

      Lenochka,
      Ricotta will not work for this recipe. My mom used to make these cookies for me all the time, so being home sick,I attempted to make them with ricotta. Not even close. Big dissappointment. Ricotta is a lot more moist than farmer’s cheese, so it will take up more flour making cookies doughy instead of light and puffy. :) I hope this helps:)

  3. Oksana says

    These are so yummy! I just made some & ate about 10 with a cold glass of milk. Had to stop myself :). (They’re really good when they are still warm: crispy on the outside & soft on the inside). Thank you Olga!

    • olgak7 says

      My favorite part about these cookies is the texture – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Glad you liked them!

  4. Lilia says

    I used to make similar cookies with cream cheese. I tried this recipe with ricotta cheese and they were also great! Will definitely try this recipe the next time I make farmer’s cheese. Thank you!

    • says

      That’s awesome, Lilia! I’m glad ricotta works here too. I use a cream cheese dough to make Rugelach cookies. They turn out SO soft and tender.

  5. victoria says

    Hi Olga,
    I’m so happy I found your blog. So many days i just have no idea what to cook and wanted to find a good website to get ideas. Didn’t like any of them so i was so happy when i stumbled upon your blog. You make cooking and baking look really fun and easy so i just wanted to encourage you to keep doing what you are really good at! Today I tried making the chicken meatballs from your blog, and also the geese feet cookies. All of it turned out really good! My husband was very satisfied!
    Thank you for making my life a little bit easier by sharing your recipes!

    • says

      Welcome Victoria!
      Thank you for your kind words:). I’m so glad you likes the cookies and the chicken meatballs. Hope you’ll enjoy more meals!

  6. Casey says

    I came across this website while searching if I could substitute ricotta cheese for farmers cheese while making blintz-like pancakes. The picture and description brought up a very very vague memory of cookies that I used to have at my grandmother’s house. She was born in the USA, but her parents and older siblings moved here from Russia/Belarus. My father always said that his mother’s mother taught him how to make these when he was a young child…I think I’m going to make these next time I go home and surprise him with them! Thank you for posting this! :)

    • says

      Welcome Casey,
      Wow, sounds like you have the same heritage that I do. That’s awesome! These are definitely a very common recipe for Russians/Belarussians. I hope you like how they turn out:), and find some other recipes from your Slavic roots.

  7. Tanya Shubin says

    These were fantastic! They came out perfect and my family loved them! Great recipe and the pictures were super helpful!

  8. Elena says

    My kids love these cookies, i have too triple the recipe to make enough cookies for my family. I do use cottage cheese if i don’t have farmers cheese handy. With cottage cheese i just rinse it and run it through the blender turns out almost like farmers cheese and the cookies taste the same.

  9. Olga says

    Hello Olya! I’ve been eyeing this recepe for quite some time now and finally today had some farmers cheese leftover and was able to bake these delicious cookies. They taste great plus my entire house smells like a Giant Cookie. Thanks for your work on this blog. God bless.

    • says

      That’s great, Olga.
      I usually have a recipe that I want to try in my mind’s list for a LONG time before I get around to actually doing it. Thanks for letting me know that you liked them. They do make the house smell so cozy and yummy.

  10. Kate says

    So good.
    No farmers cheese available here so used cottage cheese but squeezed out some of the whey in cheesecloth.
    Worked to perfection.
    Made half dipping in sugar, added some cinnamon to the sugar for the other half. All going down fast in this house.
    I am inspired by the ease of the pastry. So easy.
    Thought I might try a savoury variety using parmesan cheese and/or some herbs next time.

  11. Theresa says

    Love the looks and sound of this recipe. could possibly try yogurt cheese if drained overnight in fridge. any way I will try these with the farmers cheese. keep up the great work.

  12. Nina says

    I bought two gallons of milk last week for farmer cheese. I don’t know why but cheese became too sour. I was looking for good recipe with farmer’s cheese. I made double the recipe and its turned SO-O-O-O GOOD. Everyone loved them so much. It’s has just a little ( кислинка) but its even better. Thans much for great recipe and wonderful blog.

  13. Irina k says

    Just made these, they came out amazing!!! My boys literally aight the first batch!! Thank you so much for sharing, I was always intimidated by slayonka. It was very easy and delicious!

    • says

      That’s awesome! It’s such a big plus when the food we cook is a big hit with our loved ones. I’m so glad you enjoyed them.

  14. irina says

    I made these geese feet cookies and they are delicious, I also pierced them with a fork so they can look like geese feet and they look really cute. Thanks for this recipe its very delicious.

  15. Yelena says

    Olga thank you so much for such a great recipe. Just made them for the Labor Day family get together and everyone loved them :)

  16. Adelina says

    I am making these cookies as I write and I must say they are awesome!!!!! The recipe is perfect. My kids can’t stop eating them. I doubled the recipe knowing that one would not be enough and I’m glad I did, were not having much leftovers. I learned that there are key words that you mention but I didn’t pay much attention to them till an issue came up, you must work fast to prevent the dough from warming up or the cookies would not rise. I made some with cold dough and they were rising perfectly, but then I started working with the scraps that were sitting on the counted for 5-7 min while I was sugaring the cold cookies and the cookies from that particular dough did not rise. Then I took cold dough from the fridge again and those did rise. Just a tip, keep the dough as cold as possible. I give this recipe 5 STARS!!!!!

    • says

      I’m so glad you liked these cookies, Adelina:).
      I just made a double batch this weekend and it was gone within a few days.
      Absolutely, the dough needs to stay cold. As I mentioned in the instructions, that’s why you need to use frozen butter and also refrigerate the dough until it’s firm. Whenever I am making these cookies, I break off part of the dough that I’ll be rolling out and I keep the rest of it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to roll it out as well.

  17. says

    Hi Olga,

    could you please just let me know how many grams has a stick of butter?
    I’d like to make this recipe for my transsiberian presentation :) I was in Russia this summer and I’m looking for recipes to make for friends and family :)

  18. Hasmik says

    Hi Olga, I just baked this. They are delicious. I am making a note to myself that next time I mash the farmers cheese before I add it to the dough. The one I buy in Toronto has large pieces of curd. So you can see it in the dough. When it baked these specks darkened and hardened a bit. Otherwise very good. These days My favourite weekend pastime is testing your recipes.

    • says

      Thank you for taking the time to write, Hasmik. I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies. You’re right, sometimes the farmer’s cheese can have big chunks in it and it would be best to break them up first. I’m lucky that the one I buy (or make myself) usually doesn’t need it.

  19. Jan Murry says

    Just made these yummy cookies – my husband can’t stop eating them. My first few were a little thick and popped open, but once I rolled them thinly enough, they turned out perfectly – definitely a new favorite! Happy Easter! (the thick ones tasted fine, just didn’t look as cute!)

  20. Gaylene says

    I just made these and they are amazing! As somebody mentioned above, I didn’t break up the farmer’s cheese very well & there are dark bits all throughout the cookies. My kitchen also filled with smoke. They still taste incredible, but next time I’ll mash the cheese up really well.

    I’m so glad I found your site, your recipes look fantastic and I can’t wait to try more of them. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  21. Christine Olenchuk says

    I recently came upon your website and I am looking forward to trying many of your recipes.
    The first recipe I tried was for the Soft Farmer’s Cheese / Geese Feet Cookies.
    I have made them twice in the past two weeks and have passed your recipe on to a few people.
    It is mentioned in the recipe, that it is important to keep the dough cold so that the cookies puff up properly during baking.
    I thought I would mention what I did, in case someone elsd might find it helpfull.
    Once I had cut out and shaped a pan of cookies, I put the pan in the refrigerator for the cookies to chill (5-10 minutes), while I preheated the oven.

    • says

      That’s a great point, Christine! I also keep the dough in the refrigerator while part of them are baking. I am so glad you enjoyed the cookies. They are one of my favorites:).

  22. marianne says

    I made the dough but found out i didnt need then for a week. Can the dough be frozen or will it be alright in the refrigerator that long.

    • says

      I’ve never kept this dough refrigerated for more than a day, so I can’t really tell you from experience. I think it would still work, Marianne. Let me know what you find out.

  23. ValentinaY says

    Hi Olia! :) Someone posted a link to your blog with this recepi on Facebook and that is how I found your blog. I am very excited to try to make these cookies. I also love the form of your blog because I am searching to create my own blog (not in cooking feild though). Would you mind to share with me what web you used for creating it, please? I appreciate!!

    Valia

  24. Oksana says

    I made these cookies today, they turned realy tasty, but the problem they were not puffy like yours, what seems like the problem? I did exactly by recepie.

  25. Julie says

    Thanks for a wonderful recipe! I am in no way a baker (out of a box all the way). Decided to try these out before a bake-sale at work and they turned out wonderful! By the third batch I was feeling quite comfortable and filled them with some preserves prior to covering in sugar. Turned out good, cannot wait to bring these to the bake-sale..if any are left.

    • says

      Thank you for taking time to write, Julie! Your comment really made my day. I’m so happy that the cookies turned out so well. They are probably one of my favorite cookies.

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