Monday, March 14, 2022

Syrniki #CooktheBooks

These Ukrainian Pancakes are a wonderful way to start the day topped with powdered sugar and a schmear of jam but they would be equally as good as a start to a dinner party topped with smoked salmon or a dollop of caviar.


I was inspired to make Syrniki after reading Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews.....

Cook the Books banner

Our Cook the Books selection for February/March was a spy novel chosen by Simona of Briciole.  When she invited us  to join in this selection she asked had we ever read a spy novel that contained recipes.  I do read spy novels and they do have food, however, I don't recall any having recipes.

Red Sparrow

When I was up north visiting my TC family who own Blue Vase Books  I grabbed a copy of this novel. I was not familiar at all with this author but I discovered that this novel was also made into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence in 2018.

Mid February when I finished reading Devoted by Dean Koontz I opened this novel.  Little did I know, as I started reading this novel, set during the current presidency in Russia, that it would become so interlaced with current history as Russia invaded Ukraine.

This story is about people high up in government positions in both the USA and Russia and the lengths they go through to learn each other's secrets.  Specifically, it is the story of Dominika Egorova, a ballerina heading for fame when an injury ends her career.  

She is forced into service by her Uncle who sends her to SWAN school where women are trained to use their bodies and wiles to garner secrets from American agents.  I found myself praying that the portrayals of Russian agents who risk everything to help our agents and agents from other countries protect the world from Putin is at least partially true. 

syrniki dough

There was tons of food in this novel.  There were recipes at the end of each chapter, although very loosely written.  I was inspired by the Syrniki because of it's Ukranian roots.  Here is how the recipe was written in the novel.

Thoroughly blend soft goat cheese, eggs, sugar, salt and flour into a sticky dough.  Refrigerate.  Drop small balls of the dough into flour, coat well, and flatten into think discs. Fry in melted butter over medium heat until golden.  Serve with sour cream, caviar, smoked fish, or jam.


Syrniki preparation

A google search for Syrniki supplied a plethora of recipes both from Ukraine and from Russia.  I read through them and am sharing my final version, hopefully a little more succinctly than the one provided in the novel.


The recipe I am sharing makes 12 pancakes or 4 servings.  They were delicious.  I just sprinkled them with powdered sugar and we started eating them as the next batch cooked.  They were delicious without any other toppings and as good cold a couple of hours later as they were warm.

syrniki pin

May God bless and keep the people of Ukraine safe and may members of NATO do whatever is necessary to end the threat of Putin in our world.

Breakfast, Fritters, Pancakes, Cheese,
Yield: 4 servings
Author: A Day in the Life on the Farm
Syrniki (Ukranian Fritters)

Syrniki (Ukranian Fritters)

These Ukrainian Pancakes are a wonderful way to start the day topped with powdered sugar and a schmear of jam but they would be equally as good as a start to a dinner party topped with smoked salmon or a dollop of caviar.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 20 Min


  • 10 oz. Farmers cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 T. canola oil, divided
  • 4 T. sugar
  • 3/4 c. flour + more for rolling
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. vanilla paste
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • toppings of choice, if desired


  1. Place the cheese, eggs, sugar, 2 Tablespoons of the oil and vanilla in a bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low until combined.
  2. Add the flour and baking powder and mix just until it sticks together in a sticky mass.
  3. Place a piece of parchment onto the counter and put a handful of flour into the center. Take a small handful of the dough and form it into a ball. Roll the ball in the flour and then press it with the palm of your hand onto the parchment to flatten. Repeat until all dough is used.
  4. Heat the remaining 3 Tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet. When hot add the pancakes in batches cooking for until browned and crisped on one side. Flip and cook the other side. Remove to a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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  1. I saw the movie Red Sparrow. Quite interesting. The bundt cake and Ukranian pancakes look delicious. Hope your St Patrick's Day was fun !

  2. Wendy, I just finished the book and whilke it's been ages since I jjoined in at Cook the Books, I plan to get my post together this time.
    I love that you made a dish with Ukrainan roots, I feel awful for the people there.

    1. Glad you are going to join us Tina. My heart breaks for the people of Ukraine.

  3. I'm so glad you made the pancakes, Wendy. They are also on my to-try list. Reading certain passages, it is hard to believe it was not written this year. Thank you so much for contributing to this edition of Cook the Books :)

    1. I know, it was kind of eerie, reading about his evilness as we live it in our world right now.

  4. I found the movie and the novel quite different in tone (and endings). I did enjoy the novel but like you, it was quite odd trying to read it with what was playing out in Ukraine. Glad you posted the sunflowers. great recipe and must try.

  5. My family being from Eastern Europe, I thought I knew all about pastries such as this, but not -- this looks like a great way to start the day!


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