Flo Braker’s cottage cheese dough is an absolutely brilliant recipe. It can be used for a whole slew of pastry creations, the latest of which I made were her rugelach and cinnamon sticks. I was floored by them both and I can’t wait to experiment making other things such as Hungarian love letters with Braker’s dough. The photo is somewhat lame, but I wanted to show the consistency the dough should have before refrigeration. This dough will handle beautifully after it is chilled. I always loved my grandma’s version of walnut kifli, but Flo’s RUGELACH lifted me to an entire new level of pastry heaven. Jim couldn’t stop eating them. I was not able to find 4% cottage cheese, so I replaced it with 2% and it worked out just fine. However, I would not consider using a lower fat content cottage cheese, because the curds would be too rubbery for pastry dough. For every cup of curd cheese use a little more than 1-1/2 cups of 2% cottage cheese. You need a food processor to make this dough, however, it is possible to make it by hand with the technique I used for the quick puff pastry recipe, but I warn you it will be messy, because this dough is sticky. You will have to break up the curds with a potato masher and try not to touch it; the dough should not be handled at this stage.

2 cups small-curd cottage cheese [4% milk fat preferably, but 2% will do]
2 cups unsifted flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices

• Spoon the cottage cheese into a sieve over a bowl; drain for at least 2 hours.
• Do not press down; you do not want any of the whey in the bowl.
• Remove 1 cup of the cheese for the dough; reserve the rest for another use. To make the dough:
• In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt just to combine.
• Scatter the butter over the flour; pulse on and off until the butter seems to disappear into the mixture.
• Scatter the cottage cheese, in bits, over the mixture; pulse on and off just until a cohesive ball is formed.
• Divide the dough into two halves. [Braker divided her dough into quarters for making petit miniatures. However, I wanted the dough for regular sized pastries.]
• Shape each into a flat disc and wrap each in plastic wrap.
• Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for the family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on "ZSUZSA'S COOKBOOK" to access my recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!