Cheese Buttons From The Rock Roof Inn

Some of the best cookbooks I own are the ones that churches compile.  The problem is that you only have a couple of weeks to buy the cookbook and if you miss your chance, too bad, so sad.  Well when I stumbled across this cookbook I was thrilled.  You can still buy it!  Plus it is full of great family recipes from the Rock Roof Inn, a bed and breakfast in Glen Ullin, located in Western North Dakota.  Margaret and her daughters have collected the best from the bed and breakfast along with great family meals plus more desserts but then also some great recipes from their heritage.  

Some of their heritage is my heritage, Germans from Russia.  When I found the recipe for “Kaseknepfle”, or cheese buttons, I had to make them.  My maternal grandma from Hebron, ND would make these for me….and they were the best.  I have probably not had these in over 30 years.  Oh, that may be a lie as I was in Hebron, ND this summer and tried some, but I think they were served with saurkraut…..gross!  But these were just like a remembered.  I loved finding this gem of a recipe.  I shared with my three boys how my grandma use to make them for me.  Memories like this are priceless.  I did make mine different from my grandma’s….I used Panko bread crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)….let’s just say that these are not your grandma’s breadcrumbs!  This is the note for the recipe “Leave it to the Germans from Russia to not only make cheese-filled dumplings, but then to fry them in buttered breadcrumbs”.  This is an important step that is not included in the original recipe…..I toast the breadcrumb in butter first and then when the cheese buttons come out of the water I drain them and fry them up in a bit more butter….kind of like a potsticker.  Then you sprinkle them with the breadcrumb mixture.  For the leftover bits of dough I simply boiled them without a filling then fried them up…..very tasty.  All the kids loved this….what is not to love…..cheese….noddles….butter!  If you have never heard of Dry curd cottage cheese, you find it next to the cottage cheese.  If you can’t find the dry curd, try straining it and letting it sit in a strainer for an hour or two to help some of the liquid leave the curd.

Margaret and her daughters are a group of accomplished home bakers and entertainers. I know one of Margaret’s daughters and she is what I call a local celebrity.  Tammy Swift  is one of my favorite writers for The Fargo Forum.  She will take on those news stories that nobody else will touch.  She will tackle the hard news reporting but she balance with the story of the “Cherpumple”, the dessert of making several pies inside of several layers of cake.  This is the type of news that I love to read.  She should be on the front page every day with her sense of humor and unique take on life!

Next up is the “Fleischkuechle” on page 257…..I need to stop blogging and cook some more recipes out of this cookbook.  If you would like to purchase this cookbook you can visit the Rock Roof Inn website, or if you are in Fargo, you can purchase it at Eco Chic.  This is one of those hidden gems of the cookbook world and you will treasure every recipe.

Kaseknepfle, page 258



  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 egg whites (reserve the yolks)
  • 2/3 cup cold water


  • 2 cups cottage cheese, dry curd
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch of pepper


  1. Mix dough ingredients in large bow; form into ball and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Roll into 2 large circle on lightly floured surface, about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut dough into 3-4 inch squares.
  2. Mix filling ingredients in medium bowl and put 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each dough square.  Fold dough into triangle; seal sides securely (the tines of a fork work well for this).
  3. Drop cheese buttons carefully into a kettle of water (about 2 quarts); bring to a boil and add salt.  Boil about 10 minutes.  The buttons should not be dough, brown some bread crumbs in butter and pour over drained buttons.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found here.  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at

3 Responses

  1. My grandparents were from Glen Ullin, moved to Belfield and grandma made these often. Still remains the #1 favorite meal with grandkids and great grandkids, but we don’t get them very often. Thanks for the detailed recipe. I’ll send to all my kids. They’ll be thrilled.

  2. Alena Doll

    My dad grew up in Glen Ullin, ND before my grandparents moved everyone out to Seattle in 1965. My grandma would make all the noodle dishes including cheese buttons, Buchs (books), knoephla, potato knip, birdies, strudel, carmel rolls, creamed salad, true German potato salad (that means no egg in it!), etc.

    Everyone would go to her house on Sunday for eats and visiting. She taught all her children (13) how to make the meals and in turn they taught their children. I love making cheese buttons. I prefer it over Buchs.

    The recipe for cheese buttons is basically the same except we have to drain cottage cheese to get the dry cottage cheese and we don’t use bread crumbs. When you cut the dough there are some extra dough left over. My family cuts those into small squares. We then fry an onion in some oil. We remove the onion and fry the extra dough. We call these krisla’s. When it fries they poof up but are kind of like croutons. We boil the cheese buttons and layer the buttons with a layer of krisla’s. We do not fry our buttons but you can if you want to. Also if you have a button that opens while being boiled those are called flappers. Those were my grandpa’s favorite. We serve it with homemade bratwurst.

    Some of my aunts would put karo syrup on them but I like them just as they are. Also if you are in a bind you can buy a pack of wonton wrappers and roll them out to make the dough a little more thin and make them like normal. The only thing to make would be a little dough for the krisla’s.

    Our family celebrates our heritage by making these dishes during the Christmas holiday. We treat it as something extremely special to keep the memory going. Also we have a few cookbooks by just our family that we created each time we have a family reunion. There is a ton more recipes in them. I’m glad there others out there besides my family that appreciate great German-Russian cooking.
    Thank you!

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