Listen, I understand if you don't want to see cottage cheese and cookies in the same sentence. You think I'm crazy. You think I'm one of those people who like canned pineapple and cinnamon in their cottage cheese, which, in my opinion, is right up there with other questionable behaviors like wearing sneakers with jeans and putting tiny rain boots on your dog.
Please know that I am sympathetic to your aversion to cottage cheese. The name itself is shiver-inducing to a lot of people (which is weird to me because cottages? good. cheese? good. cottage cheese? terrifying!). So let's ease into it.
Think of cottage cheese as a more rustic version of ricotta cheese, and suddenly it seems more acceptable as a baking ingredient. Just as soft ricotta cheese gives a creamy, dense texture to cakes, cottage cheese makes your baked goods moist and chewy.
Try it for yourself and make these cookies. I will tell you that I could not stop eating them. The batter is more of a dough, which you'll roll out and cut into large circles. Each circle gets dipped in cinnamon sugar and then folded into quarters.
The resulting cookie is hard to describe: a cross between pie crust, a biscuit, and a cookie. The center is soft and chewy, the base is caramelized and crispy, and the entire thing tastes sugared and spiced and perfect.
An additional bonus? They're pretty adorable.
Cottage Cheese Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup cottage cheese (I used nonfat, any type will work)
1 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter with 3/4 cup of the sugar, cottage cheese, and vanilla. Beat until very light and fluffy. The batter will look a little curdled because of the cottage cheese, but don't worry about that.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until the dough comes together. It will be very sticky: refrigerate it for 20 to 30 minutes to make it easier to roll.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Note: I needed a lot of extra flour to make the dough easy to roll as it is very sticky. If you find that to be the case, just keep adding flour a little bit at a time and kneading the dough together until it feels like you can roll it out. That's totally fine! It is a rare case where more flour won't hurt, and you want to do this by feel, sort of like making bread dough.
Using a large circular biscuit cutter or sharp glass (about 2 1/2" to 3" in diameter), cut out circles of the dough.
Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the cinnamon.
Dust one side of each dough circle with cinnamon sugar and press gently with your fingers to make it stick. Fold the circle into quarters, with the cinnamon sugared side on the outside.
Bake the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 16-20 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. They will still be soft.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.