Dainty tea sandwiches are the back‑bone of many afternoon teas. The fillings can be as varied as your imagination. I usually choose three different sandwich fillings for a tea selection: a meat filling, a savory filling and a sweeter filling.
Plan on making two full size sandwiches per person. When cut, this will create approximately eight tea sandwiches for each guest.
8 guests x 2 = 16 full sandwiches
16 sandwiches + 3 fillings = 5 or 6 sandwiches of each filling
Sandwiches are best if made the same day as served. Here are some hints for making dainty, moist tea sandwiches:
1. Use one loaf of white bread and one loaf of brown or wheat bread. Do not use the whole grains as you need a finer texture.
2. Do not cut the crusts off of the bread until ready to cut into tea shapes.
3. You may use all white bread for some sandwiches, all brown for some and a combination of one slice white and one slice brown for others.
4. For all sandwiches, lightly spread one side of each slice of bread with softened butter.
5. Spread fillings approximately 1/4 inch thick to the edges of one slice of buttered bread. Top with the second buttered slice.
6. Stack whole sandwiches three high and wrap into a “package” with waxed paper. Wrap two “packages” of sandwiches together in a tea towel (not terry cloth) that has been immersed in cold water and then wrung out as dry as possible. Refrigerate at least two hours or until ready to cut and arrange on plates and trays.
7. Just before the tea hour, take one sandwich package from refrigerator at a time. On a bread board, using a sharp knife, trim crust from each sandwich. Cut trimmed sandwich into desired shapes. You may use a deep cookie cutter to cut sandwich into hearts or circles, but it will create a lot of sandwich waste and you will need to plan additional sandwiches.Triangles and fingers work well.
8. Arrange sandwiches on doily lined plates or trays and cover with waxed paper and dampened tea towels until ready to serve.