If any of you fine folks are following me on Instagram, I shared a while back that for Christmas, my husband gifted me a beautiful white teapot. Inside the teapot was an invitation to Afternoon Tea at The Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City (about 20 minutes from our home). We got all dressed up, and spent the afternoon sipping non-caffeinated herbal tea, luxury hot chocolates, nibbling on the most wonderful tea sandwiches, fresh fruit, and jams with biscuits, and had an entire selection at our fingertips of desserts (tarts, macaroons, french gum drops, and chocolate mousse bowls). We talked about our goals for the new year for our little family, and about our goals we've set as individuals. It was seriously such a lovely afternoon, and we enjoyed it so much we want to make it a yearly tradition on New Year's Eve.
One thing I remembered the most, and wished I could have had at least ten more bites of, were the cucumber sandwiches. They were so light, moist, decadent, and had just enough zing to them from the spread underneath the gorgeous cucumbers. My pregnant palate had been craving them ever since. So, I decided to make a little batch of them at home with my lunch one chilly Utah afternoon. Can I dare say I created a bite that was even better? Let's just jump right into our little virtual tea time, shall we? :)
I wanted something just as light, so I knew using white bread was a must. I can't remember the last time we bought white bread! Haha. It was the perfect little sponge base for the rest of the light ingredients.
Next, I knew under those lovely slices of cucumber, would have to be a spread. This spread I decided on was a base of cream cheese, with a little light spice from the chives, and a hint of zing from the fresh lemon zest, and a little extra help from some salt and pepper. Doesn't seem like much, but the flavor it makes compliments everything else we have going on here just perfectly!
Lastly, the presentation is super important when making cucumber tea sandwiches. I've seen cucumbers just sliced into coins and plopped on a piece of bread. I wanted something with a lot more finesse, and something to get the juices flowing just by looking at them. Slicing the cucumber SUPER thin is essential to getting the perfect, dainty, light and luxurious look to these cucumber tea sandwiches. They tasted so perfect with the cool cucumber, soft bread, and thin zesty spread. If you're planning a baby shower, bridal shower, or even a darling little tea party - these are definitely a must for your finger sandwiches platter. They'll steal the show for sure! Enjoy - and I'll be back soon with more tasty recipes this week. Happy Monday, dear friends!
Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
makes 4 servings
2 whole medium cucumbers
4 oz cream cheese
1 t minced chives
1/2 t fresh lemon zest
salt & pepper to taste
4-6 slices soft white bread
1. Remove both ends of the cucumber. With a veggie peeler or mandolin (be extra careful with that one), slice the cucumber into long, thin slices (about 1/16 an inch thin, enough to see through it completely).
2. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, chives, lemon zest, and salt & pepper to taste.
3. Working one slice of bread at a time, thinly spread on enough of the zested cream mixture to cover the surface. Add one slice of cucumber (see picture below) diagonally to the corner of the bread, Repeat, matching up the green ends together or slightly overlapping. Repeat until the entire surface is covered. Lightly press down on the cucumber layers to make sure they stick to the bread.
4. Cut off crusts with a sharp knife, and discard (or snack on them :) Slice into neat squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge immediately until serving. Repeat all the assembly steps with the rest of the bread. Serve cold & enjoy!
Recipe source: Baking with Blondie