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Russian Blini

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  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Yield: About 25 blini, enough for 4 people to have a giant breakfast 1x


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Russian vanilla sugar OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (*omit if making for a savory application)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for skillet
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • About 6 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 stick unsalted butter, melted (*optional)
  • Savory accompaniments: Feta cheese, tomatoes, lox, caviar, fresh dill, sour cream
  • Sweet accompaniments: Fresh fruit, fruit preserves, honey, sour cream


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugars, salt and 3 tablespoons oil. Add milk and whisk to incorporate.
  2. Using a tablespoon (not a tablespoon measure), begin adding the flour, starting with 4 heaping tablespoons; whisk for several minutes, until there are absolutely no clumps left. Continue adding flour until desired consistency is reached: the finished batter should be thin, pourable and a bit viscous, similar in texture to cooking oil (way thinner than American pancake batter).
  3. Lightly grease an 8″ non-stick skillet and heat over a medium-low flame. Using a small ladle in your dominant hand, scoop a ladle-full of batter; holding the hot skillet in your other hand pointed at approximately 45 degrees toward yourself, slowly pour the batter into the skillet while rotating your wrist in a circular motion to coat skillet in a thin layer. Place skillet onto the flame and cook until most of the batter is no longer liquid, about 35 seconds. Run a butter knife or small offset spatula around the perimeter of the skillet to loosen the blin, slip the knife underneath, using the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, quickly grab the blin, and flip it to cook the other side. Cook for 10-15 seconds and slide onto a plate. Lightly brush the edges of the cooked blin with melted butter, and move on to cooking the rest of the blini.
  4. Blini are best eaten right away. If you can’t consume them all in one sitting, wrap the remainder in plastic and refrigerate up to 4 days. Fold leftover blini into triangles and reheat on the stove in a generously buttered skillet.