August 17, 2015

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways

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Choose from three flavorfully-delicious spreads and three ways of assembly to build a beautiful array of elegant Cucumber Tea Sandwiches for your next get-together.  They will not disappoint!  

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways


You know, Cucumber Tea Sandwiches are one of those things that can be so absolutely simply-delicious ... or can be a complete flavorless let down.  Quite often, Cucumber Tea Sandwiches are a touch of cream cheese topped with clunky cucumbers atop a bit of soggy white bread.  Which can leave you feeling like they were nothing more than an after-thought filler on the menu.

But when done well, Cucumber Tea Sandwiches can be a flavorfully-delicious highlight of a tea menu or party spread.  And with paying just a little extra attention to three simple things, doing Cucumber Tea Sandwiches well is truly quite easy.

So what are the three things to pay just a little extra attention to?  The three elements of Cucumber Tea Sandwiches, of course! ... 1.  The spread.  2.  The cucumbers.  and 3. The bread.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways

When it comes to the spread, simple additions like fresh dill, lemon zest, or a combination of finely chopped fresh vegetables can make all the difference in elevating the basic cream cheese, and transform it into a fabulously delicious Cucumber Tea Sandwich filling that will not disappoint.  The recipes for my three favorite spreads ... Lemony Dill Spread, Chunky Cucumber Spread, and Vegetable Spread ... are included at the bottom of this post.  I'm truly hard-pressed to pick which one I like best! ... but if you twisted my arm, I would probably have to go with the Vegetable Spread.

As for the cucumbers, choose firm cucumbers with few seeds ... either small, young 'regular' cucumbers or English 'seedless' cucumbers.  Then slice the cucumbers very thinly with a good sharp knife or mandolin.

And for the bread?  Choose good quality sandwich bread that's got a bit firmer texture and crumb than most regular white breads.  I like to use Pepperidge Farms ... it's got a great 'weight' to it that provides a perfect base for fabulous Cucumber Tea Sandwiches.

Once those three elements ... the spread, the cucumbers, and the bread ... are in place, it's just a matter of choosing a 'way' to assemble the sandwiches ~ and you're well on your way to a beautiful array of elegant and tasty Cucumber Tea Sandwiches that are anything but  an after-thought.

Let's take a look at three potential ways to assemble the sandwiches:

1.  Open-Faced ~ Thinly-sliced cucumbers are decoratively arranged on a single piece of bread, and then garnished with fresh herbs.  The bread can be cut in various shapes such as triangles, rectangles, or squares.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways



2.  Basic Closed ~ Thinly-sliced cucumbers and spread are layered between two slices of bread.  The sandwiches are then cut into the desired shape, typically small squares or rectangle 'fingers.'

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways



3.  Triple-Decker ~ Three pieces of bread sandwich together two layers of spread and cucumbers.  Or, in this case, simply two layers of Vegetable Spread.  I like to use two slice of white bread with a slice of whole wheat bread in the middle for color contrast, but three slices of the same bread type can certainly be used.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways


All three of these Cucumber Tea Sandwich spreads and 'ways' were made by a friend of mine and I for a tea party we had at church recently.  I'm happy to report that all were a huge hit!  No drab spreads.  No clunky cucumbers. No soggy white bread.  And no feelings of the sandwiches simply being an after-thought filler item on the tea party menu.

So whip up a flavorfully-delicious spread or two, slice those cucumbers thin, and grab some good-quality bread to get building a beautiful array of elegant Cucumber Tea Sandwiches.  They will not disappoint!

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches ~ 3 Spreads & 3 Ways
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Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Lemony Dill Spread
(Printable recipe)
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • packed 1/3 c. roughly chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • Approximately 12 to 16 slices good-quality sandwich bread
Directions
  1. Place cream cheese in a bowl; stir with a spoon or fork until creamy and free of lumps. Add dill, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper; stir until well combined.
  2. Chill cream cheese mixture for about 2 hours {or overnight} to allow flavors to meld.
  3. To Prepare Sandwiches:
  4. Remove Lemony Dill Spread from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to assembling sandwiches to allow it to soften and become easily spreadable. Thinly slice cucumber.
  5. To serve open-faced ~ spread a thin layer of Lemony Dill Spread on each slice of bread and arrange cucumber slices decoratively on top. Trim away bread crusts with a serrated knife; then cut sandwiches into desired shapes {2 triangles or 3 fingers}.  To serve closed ~ Place an additional piece of bread on top of cucumbers.  Trim away bread crusts with a serrated knife; then cut sandwiches into fourths.  To serve triple-decker ~ Repeat layers, making a sandwich stack that includes a total of 3 slices of bread.  Trim away bread crusts with a serrated knife; then cut sandwich stacks into fourths.
  6. Garnish tops with additional fresh dill. Serve immediately. Or, layer in an airtight container with waxed paper between each layer and on top of the top layer. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Ideally, cucumber tea sandwiches should be served immediately or within about 2 to 3 hours of having been assembled.





Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Chunky Cucumber Spread
(Printable recipe)
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, & finely chopped
  • 1 T. chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • Approximately 12 to 16 slices good-quality sandwich bread
Directions
  1. Place cream cheese and mayonnaise in a bowl; stir with a spoon or fork until creamy and free of lumps. Add dill and garlic salt; stir until well combined.  Fold in finely chopped cucumber
  2. Chill cream cheese mixture for about 2 hours {or overnight} to allow flavors to meld.
  3. To Prepare Sandwiches:
  4. Remove Chunky Cucumber Spread from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to assembling sandwiches to allow it to soften and become easily spreadable. Thinly slice cucumber.
  5. To serve open-faced ~ spread a layer of Chunky Cucumber Spread on each slice of bread and arrange cucumber slices decoratively on top. Trim away bread crusts with a serrated knife; then cut sandwiches into desired shapes {2 triangles or 3 fingers}.  To serve closed ~ Place an additional piece of bread on top of cucumbers.  Trim away bread crusts with a serrated knife; then cut sandwiches into fourths.  To serve triple-decker ~ Repeat layers, making a sandwich stack that includes a total of 3 slices of bread.  Trim away bread crusts with a serrated knife; then cut sandwich stacks into fourths.
  6. Garnish tops with additional chopped fresh dill. Serve immediately. Or, layer in an airtight container with waxed paper between each layer and on top of the top layer. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Ideally, cucumber tea sandwiches should be served immediately or within about 2 to 3 hours of having been assembled.





Vegetable Spread Tea Sandwiches
(Printable recipe)
Ingredients
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, & finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 c. sliced green onions
  • 2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 T. mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • approximately 24 to 30 slices good-quality sandwich bread
Directions
  1. Place cream cheese and mayonnaise in a bowl; stir with a spoon or fork until creamy and free of lumps. Add garlic, salt, parsley, and green onions; stir until well combined. Fold in cucumber, red bell pepper, and carrot.
  2. Chill cream cheese mixture for about 2 hours {or overnight} to allow flavors to meld.
  3. Prepare Sandwiches: Remove Vegetable Spread from refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to assembling sandwiches to allow it to soften and become easily spreadable.
  4. To serve closed ~ spread a layer of Vegetable Spread on a slice of bread. Place an additional piece of bread on top. Trim away bread crusts with a serrated knife; then cut sandwiches into fourths. To serve triple-decker ~ Repeat layers, making a sandwich stack that includes a total of 3 slices of bread. Trim away bread crusts with a serrated knife; then cut sandwich stacks into fourths.
  5. Garnish tops with a small sprinkling of additional chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately. Or, layer in an airtight container with waxed paper between each layer and on top of the top layer. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Ideally, cucumber tea sandwiches should be served immediately or within about 2 to 3 hours of having been assembled.
Enjoy!




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Please enjoy these other perfect-for-tea little bites from The Kitchen is My Playground ...

Nutella-Strawberry Cheesecake Bites


Lemon Curd Tartlets

Pastel Meringue Cookies

Party-Perfect Spinach Balls

Crescent Roll Tomato-Basil Squares

8 comments:

  1. Definitely pinning this. Makes me want to host a proper tea!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love these delicate little sandwiches! Thanks for linking up with What's Cookin' Wednesday!"

    ReplyDelete
  3. These little Tea Sandwiches are just perfect for afternoon tea or a luncheon, I love them! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks so good!

    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love to entertain my friends! A good pot of herbal tea an these little sandwitches are always special. For ladies only! most men wouldn't appreciate it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a great guide to making awesome cucumber tea sandwiches! I might of missed it, but how much does each recipe yield? I'm planning on making the Chunky Cucumber spread and the Vegetable spread ones for a baby shower and theres going to be around 25 people there. Thinking of making around 10 of each.

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  7. These are perfect snacks for picnics. Going to try them on weekend. Hope kids will like it.

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  8. You might have said but I couldn't find it. The vegetable spread recipe. How many tea sandwiches does that make? I'm sure I'll need to double it for the event I'm helping with, I just don't want to have to run back and forth to the store.

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments. I read and appreciate each and every one. Thank you so much for visiting The Kitchen is My Playground! {NOTE: Captcha word verification is on to turn away the 'spambots' ... I apologize for the commenting inconvenience!}

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