Chocolate-glazed cottage cheese bites: A delightful Soviet experiment

Created for practical purposes, this dessert is an international favorite.

Created for practical purposes, this dessert is an international favorite.

Legion Media
Delightful and healthy chocolate-glazed cottage cheese bites have been popular in Russia and abroad since their appearance in the 1950s. And you’ll never guess which countries include them in their delicious dessert list, and why.

Have you ever tried Russia’s beloved chocolate-glazed cottage cheese bites? (Also known as curd bars). If you ever visit the country, then you probably should. But if you don’t visit, it’s often possible to find them in certain countries.

Traditionally made from cottage cheese, sugar, butter and vanilla, these bites, (or mini-bars), make a delicious, healthy dessert that is rich in proteins and carbohydrates. They are filling, and the cottage cheese proteins are more easily digested than milk proteins.

Chocolate-glazed cottage cheese bites appeared in Russia in the 1950s, but there’s a legend that they were common in Siberia’s Altai region at the end of the 19th century. Their immediate popularity was not surprising, and sometimes children made two delights from one - biting the chocolate glaze on the outside, and then eating the cottage cheese mass. Some parents even pretended those mini-bars were Eskimo pie ice creams during the time of food shortages in the Soviet Union. They were even included in the official school lunch menu.

Strangely enough, the cottage cheese bites were created as an experment by Soviet food technicians to coax Soviet children to eat wholesome desserts. Even foreign specialists were impressed by how delicious they were, and in the end of the 1960s the chocolate-glazed cottage cheese mini-bars appeared in many countries, from Europe to New Zealand!

During the economic troubles in the late Soviet period at the end of the 1980s, the mini-bars disappeared from shelves. But when the economy recovered after 1995, the range of varieties broadened greatly. These included many different fillings, as well as with waffles and cookies.

How to make it:

Ingredients for the cottage cheese:

  • 250 g cottage cheese (any fat content will do)
  • 4-5 tablespoons iced sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
1. Push the cottage cheese through a sieve to make it homogenous and airy. Cut butter into small pieces (room temperature). Mix butter with cottage cheese and iced sugar. Stir smoothly - the mass shouldn’t be too runny nor too brittle.

2. Make bars (or pellets, if you like) from the mass, and put into freezer for 15 minutes. Be careful: it should cool, but not be completely frozen.

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
3. Make the glaze: mix cocoa powder, sugar and sour cream, and put into a cooking pan. Set to low heat, boil and cook 5 minutes. Add butter, stir smoothly, and put into the fridge for 15 minutes to cool.

4. Take the mini-bars out of the freezer and dunk into the glaze. Place on butter paper or foil, and put into the fridge until the chocolate is hard.

You can also melt the chocolate mini-bar with or without butter to make the glaze. For greater variety, the cottage cheese mass can be filled with various ingredients: vanilla, cocoa, chip coconut, nuts, cherry or caramelized milk.

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