March 8, 2022

Goose Feet Cookies


Baking has always been a place of solace and comfort for me. I often joke that it's cheaper than seeing a therapist, but it's really true!  During those times where I need to find a sense of calm and peace baking is what I inevitably end up doing.  Dorie Greenspan recently posted a recipe for Goose Feet Cookies, a cookie with Russian-Ukranian origins.  Given the tragedy that's currently unfolding in Eastern Europe right now I felt especially compelled to make these.    

I'd never heard of goose feet cookies before but I'm so glad I know of them now because they are incredibly delicious.  Even better, they are the simplest cookies to make by hand.   The one ingredient that you may have to do some searching for is farmer's cheese, a fresh curd cheese.  Luckily I live close to a Russian market and had no trouble procuring some, but if it's not so easy for you try using drained cottage cheese.

The dough reminded me of pie crust and was very easy to work with.  To get the super flaky, buttery and crispy layers I highly recommend rolling out the dough as thinly as possible, and I mean VERY thin!  The only sugar in the cookie is what is used to coat the dough rounds.  

I'm not joking when I say I easily polished off a dozen of the cookies in one sitting.   They are so moreish that you can't stop yourself from eating just one or two.  

Goose Feet Cookies

1 cup (128 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
4 ounces (113 grams) farmer's cheese (or quark or strained cottage cheese)
1 large egg yolk, cold
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar, for coating 

With your fingers, mix the flour, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl.  

Using the course holes of a box grater, grate the butter into the flour and toss together lightly.  Add the farmer's cheese and mix everything together with a fork.  
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and cold water.  Add to the flour/butter/cheese mixture.  Use your hands to combine the dough, but use a light tough.  
Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.  Let chill in the fridge for at least one hour or up to 2 days.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the dough as thinly as possible, about 1/8" or less.  Using a 3 1/2" round cutter, cut out as many dough rounds.  You can re-roll the scraps.  If at any point the dough starts to become warm, put it back in the fridge to chill.
Place the sugar in a medium sized plate.  One at a time, dip a dough round into the plate of sugar.  Fold the sugared side in half.  Lay the half circle in the sugar and then fold into a quarter circle, putting sugared side against sugared side.  Dip one side of the quarter circle in sugar and place on the baking sheet, sugared side up. 

Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Bake the cookies for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.


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