If tea time wasn't a thing in your house before, it will be after you try these Cucumber Sandwiches! Featuring soft, white bread (no crust, of course) sliced cucumbers, and a creamy dill spread so delicious, you could eat it with a spoon. Cucumber Tea Sandwiches do not get better than this!
Cool and refreshing, this is a superb recipe for serving during the spring and summer months! It makes for a lovely appetizer and addition to any brunch, lunch, or shower menu.
ALL ABOUT CUCUMBER TEA SANDWICHES
Tea sandwiches are small, light sandwiches originally meant to equip you with the perfect sized nibble to tide you over until dinnertime. They come in all different shapes and sizes -- squares, rectangles, triangles, and circles -- but they are always handheld, crustless, and should be easy to eat.
While considered Southern fare, Cucumber Sandwiches did not originate in the U.S. These dainty, green beauties were originally a product of England and featured buttered bread and cucumber...that's it. Once the Southern ladies caught hold of the Cucumber Sandwich, it became more of a vehicle for decadent, herbaceous cream cheese spread than it did the cucumber. No complaints here.
HOW TO MAKE CUCUMBER SANDWICHES
- Make the Spread - Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, spices, and herbs in a mixing bowl and use a handheld mixer to combine.
- Prep - Thinly slice the cucumbers and remove the crust from the bread. You'll find a sharp, serrated knife best for removing the crust.
- Assemble - Lightly butter each slice of bread and be sure to spread it all the way to the edges. Then, add a scant tablespoon of the dill spread across each slice of buttered bread. Add the cucumbers, slightly overlapping them, to half of the bread slices, and top with the other half of the bread slices.
- Cut - Cut your Cucumber Tea Sandwiches into triangles or rectangles. If you're making round tea sandwiches, see below!
HOW TO CUT TEA SANDWICHES
There's more than one way to slice a sandwich, and there are lots of ways to slice a tea sandwich. The first step is to remove the crust. It's best to remove the crust before you add the filling.
- Triangles | Cut the assembled sandwich in half on the diagonal. Then, cut each diagonal in half.
- Squares | Cut the sandwich into quarters. This means you'll cut each sandwich in half, then, cut each half in half crosswise!
- Rectangles (a.k.a. Finger Sandwiches) | Cut each sandwich into three narrow strips.
- Rounds (or Decorative Shapes) | Use a decorative cookie cutter or a biscuit cutter to cut out shapes from the sliced of bread. Note, you will probably need double the bread if using this method of cutting. Depending the size of your cookie cutter, there will likely be lots of wasted scraps.
When you are cutting Cucumber Sandwiches into shapes, make sure you're using a good, sharp serrated knife. If you don't have a good-quality bread knife, use your sharpest knife, and carefully wipe it clean between cuts so the edges of the tea sandwiches stay polished and neat looking!
- Cream Cheese Dill Spread
TYPES OF CUCUMBERS
Hot House (or English) Cucumbers are best. They are thin and long compared to standard American cucumbers and have thin skin, which does not require peeling. Their seeds are very tender.
If you cannot find the English variety, be sure to peel the skin, and depending on the size of the seeds, you may want to de-seed it as well.
CREAM CHEESE DILL SPREAD
When I last served these Cucumber Tea Sandwiches at a baby shower, guests raved over the Dill Spread so much, that I pulled out the extra I had tucked away in the refrigerator and set it out as dip alongside the veggie tray. Not a drop was left behind!
The spread consists of cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, dried herbs, and spices. The flavor of this spread perfectly complements cucumber and you'll find it sets these particular Cucumber Tea Sandwiches far apart from the others!
Buttering the bread is an important step when it comes to serving tea sandwiches, but is especially important when it comes to serving Cucumber Sandwiches. Butter serves as a barrier between the filling and the bread, keeping the bread from getting soggy.
Remember the old saying "water and oil don't mix?" The same rule applies here. Consider the butter the oil and every other part of the sandwich water.
Take care to use unsalted, room temperature butter so that you can easily spread it from edge to edge. Only a very thin layer of butter is required for this task.
This is the time for good, quality bread. If you're able, pick up a package of sliced, white bread from the bakery.
HOW TO KEEP CUCUMBER FROM GETTING SOGGY
The best way to keep cucumbers from getting soggy is to slice them fresh for your sandwiches. Because the cucumber slices in tea sandwiches are meant to be very thin, there is no way to keep them truly crisp for any extended amount of time; their water content is just too high.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS
Regardless of what you may have read elsewhere, Cucumber Tea Sandwiches should not be made a day in advance. I repeat: Do not make Cucumber Sandwiches the day before! It's best to wait as close to serving time as you possibly can before assembling them.
While you should not assemble or even slice the cucumbers in advance, you can, however, make the Dill Spread up to 3 days in advance.
HOW TO STORE THEM
If you are transporting Cucumber Tea Sandwiches from one location to another, transfer them to an airtight container. Separate each layer of sandwiches with wax paper and do your best to keep them cool before serving.
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Easy Cucumber Tea Sandwiches made with soft, white bread (no crust, of course) sliced cucumbers, and creamy dill spread so delicious, you could eat it with a spoon!
- 1 ½ package (12-ounces) cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried dill
- Pinch of black pepper
- ⅓ cup room temperature unsalted butter
- 2 English cucumbers, sliced thin
- 1 (1 pound) loaf sliced white bread (preferably from the bakery), crust removed
Add the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, chives, salt, onion powder, dill, and pepper to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Using a handheld mixer, mix on medium speed until smooth and well combined. This can be made and kept refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.
To assemble the sandwiches, begin by very lightly buttering each slice of bread all the way to the edges. Then, spread a scant tablespoon of the dill sauce across each slice of bread. Reserve/use any leftover spread as a vegetable dip, if desired.
Divide the sliced cucumber over half of the bread slices, slightly overlapping them. Top with the remaining bread slices and cut into triangles or rectangles. Serve and enjoy!
HOW TO CUT TEA SANDWICHES
Triangles | Cut the assembled sandwich in half on the diagonal. Then, cut each diagonal in half.
Squares | Cut the sandwich into quarters. This means you'll cut each sandwich in half, then, cut each half in half crosswise!
Rectangles | Cut each sandwich into three narrow strips.
Rounds | Use a decorative cookie cutter or a biscuit cutter to cut out shapes from the slices of bread. Note, you will probably need double the bread if using this method of cutting. Depending not the size of your cookie cutter, there will likely be lots of wasted scraps.