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how to make cucumber sandwiches

cucumber sandwiches for tea party

 

Cucumber sandwiches are a must-have appetizer for tea parties, Mother’s Day brunch, children’s parties, weddings, and other parties. A simple snack, cold, fresh, light and very tasty.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches are quintessential tea party fair – the perfect little nibble that’s light, fresh, and airy. They can be served in many different shapes, but they are always small finger food, made with thinly sliced cucumbers, a tangy herb spread, on soft, crustless bread.

These little sandwiches date all the back to the 1800’s when afternoon tea was first introduced in England, and only served by the wealthy. They originally consisted of buttered bread and cucumber – that’s it. Then the fabulous Southern ladies in the United States discovered them and took these sandwiches up a notch with an herbed cream cheese spread. Today they’re popular at all types of gatherings, and for good reason – they’re inexpensive, easy to make, easy to eat, light, and delicious!

Cucumber Sandwich Recipe

There are many variations on Cucumber Tea Sandwiches. This is what you’ll need for our recipe:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)

  • Bread: White sandwich bread that’s soft, but high quality.
  • Cucumber: Really any cucumbers work for these sandwiches, but we do have a preference toward English cucumbers because they are “burpless” with fewer seeds, less water, and don’t require peeling. (Of course to peel or not to peel is up to you.)
  • Cream Cheese: Plain cream cheese. Full fat or reduced fat is fine.
  • Mayonnaise: Combining mayonnaise with cream cheese gives the spread a creamier texture and better balance of flavor.
  • Herbs: Dill and chives are our herbs of choice. Use fresh! Dried herbs won’t deliver here.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds to the tangy flavor and balances out the cream cheese. Again, use fresh.
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Note: If you’re in a pinch (or really unmotivated!) to make the spread from scratch, you can buy a small tub of herbed cream cheese at the store and bring it to room temperature for easier spreading.

Optional Additions: Less is more with these delicate sandwiches, but you could add some very thinly sliced red onion. You can also swap out the cucumbers for radishes.

How to Make Cucumber Sandwiches

(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
These cucumber finger sandwiches are so easy to make – the hardest part is trying to decide what shape to go with. You simply:

  • Make the spread: Combine softened cream cheese with the herbs and seasonings.
  • Peel and slice the cucumbers: Slice the cucumbers thin, about 1/8-inch thick.
  • Cut the crusts off the bread: Remove the crusts, using a sharp knife.
  • Assemble: Spread the herbed cream cheese on one side of all the bread slices, making sure it goes to the edges. Layer the cucumber slices, over half the bread slices and season with some fresh cracked black pepper. Top with remaining bread slices, cream cheese mixture down.
  • Cut: Cut the sandwiches into your preferred shapes (see below.)

How to Cut Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

When it comes to cutting your tea sandwiches, there are several options. First, make sure to remove the crusts before buttering with the spread.

Squares: Cut each sandwich in half and then again in half crosswise.
Triangles: Cut the sandwich in half diagonally, then cut each diagonal in half.
Circles: Use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds.
Decorative Shapes: Cut out fun shapes with cookie cutters.

NOTE: If cutting out circles or shapes, you will likely need extra bread and there does tend to be a lot of scraps.
TIP! Use a good sharp Chef’s knife to cut the sandwiches. Wipe it clean in-between cuts so the edges of each sandwich are neat looking. (A serrated knife can tear the bread and a dull knife will require too much pressure to cut and cause the filling to squeeze out.)

How to Keep a Cucumber Sandwich from Getting Soggy

There are a few ways to help prevent your cucumber sandwiches from getting soggy:

  • Use English or Persian cucumbers: These varieties have fewer and smaller seeds than regular waxy cucumbers, which means less water.
  • Salt the cucumbers and let them rest: Sprinkle the cucumber slices with a little bit of salt and let them rest for about 30 minutes. Then rinse and pat dry. This step is optional, but it does help extract excess moisture.
  • Create a barrier: Spread the cream cheese on both pieces of bread, which creates a barrier between the cucumbers and the bread.

Making Ahead

These sandwiches are best served right after assembling or at least within a couple hours. Do not make them ahead of time. The longer these sandwiches sit, the cucumbers will release moisture causing the sandwiches to get soggy. However, you can prepare the cream cheese spread up to 2 days in advance and keep it tightly covered in the refrigerator (then soften it before spreading on the bread.) You can also cut the crusts off the bread 1 day in advance. Cucumbers should be peeled and cut right before assembly.

Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches are an appetizer must for a tea party, Mother's Day brunch, baby shower, bridal shower, or any get together. Simple finger food that's cool, fresh, light, and so delicious!
Prep Time 20 days
Total Time 20 days
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 16 slices high-quality soft white sandwich bread (about 1 loaf), crusts removed
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper , to taste

Instructions
 

  • 1 Peel the cucumber in stripes and cut into 1/8-inch thin slices using a mandolin or sharp knife. Place the slices on paper towels and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let rest for 15-30 minutes to extract moisture. Pat dry with clean paper towels.
    2 In the meantime, make the spread. In a medium bowl, using a handheld mixer, blend together the softened cream cheese, mayo, dill, chives, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt.
    3 Spread one side of each slice of bread with the herbed cream cheese.
    4 Layer cucumber slices over half of the bread slices. Season with fresh cracked black pepper, to taste. Top with remaining bread slices, cream cheese mixture down. (At this point, you'll have 8 full sandwiches.)
    5 Using a sharp Chef's knife, cut each sandwich into quarters, pushing through the bread down to the bottom. So you have 32 tea sandwiches.
    6 Serve right away and enjoy!
Keyword Caprese Skewers, Cucumber Sandwiches, Dinner

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