Bread and Butterflies

Posted January 3, 2014 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 0 Comments

It seemed only fitting that my first Book of the Month should be Alice in Wonderland. Since it makes such a great tea party theme, each of my recipes for this book will be of the finger food variety.  And with Valentine’s Day just around the bend, a dozen tarts or pasties make a great gift!

Let’s start the meal off with a mouth-watering appetizer, shall we?

To me, nothing says “tea party” like a cucumber sandwich. So dainty! So yum! Heck, I don’t even like cucumber, and I think these sandwiches are the best thing since Oreos (and I take my relationship with Oreos very seriously). This particular variety is my take on the ones served at The Wolseley in London. Delightful!

P.S. The keys to a good cucumber sandwich are delicacy and quality of ingredients. Things like slicing the cucumbers thin and splurging for the fancy butter go a long way here!

CUCUMBER BREAD AND BUTTERFLIES

“Its wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.” — Through the Looking Glass

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 slices white bread (thin-sliced, if possible)
  • 1 cucumber
  • basil and chive butter (3 snipped fresh basil leaves, 1 tsp snipped fresh chives, 4 tbsp salted butter)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • some lengths of chive and sprigs of dill, if you’re feeling fancy
  • Makes 6 finger sandwiches

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First, you’ll want to make the basil and chive butter. Cut 4 tbsp from a block of butter (I used Kerrygold, a lovely Irish brand) and let it soften in a bowl on the counter while you cut the herbs. The chives are pretty easy to snip, but I’ve found the best way to cut basil leaves is to stack them one on top of the other, roll them together like a tortilla, then snip them up with kitchen scissors. Once the butter is soft, stir the herbs into the bowl with a spoon (a beater would pulverize the poor herbs). If you like, you can put it in a ramekin or small bowl. The end result should look something like this:
  2. Take out six slices of bread and thinly butter them on one side, all the way to the edge of the crust.
  3. Then slice the cucumber as thinly as possible. Stack into groups about an inch high and use an apple corer to cut out the seedy centers. NOTE: The official Woseley recipe says to peel the skin from the cucumber, then use the peeler to cut the cucumber into strips, discarding the seedy center. I’m all for nixing the mushy part of the cucumber, but I’m one of those odd souls who likes a little peel in her cucumber sandwiches.
  4. Place the discs of cucumber on the buttered bread and add a dash of salt and pepper. Top with another piece of buttered bread.
  5. Let sit for 10 minutes or so under a damp paper towel. This allows the ingredients to set and stay in place when you start cutting. You can discard the paper towel after this step.
  6. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut two “fun-sized” sandwiches out of each larger sandwich. You can throw out the scraps if you want or (if you’re me) give them to the Mister of the house as a snack. Like most Misters, mine never turns down something yummy!
  7. Place on a decorative plate and garnish with lengths of fresh chive and bits of basil or dill.
  8. Enjoy while reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass! 🙂

 

 

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Here’s the Yummly Printable!

 

Bread and Butterflies

6 finger sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 6 slices white bread (thin-sliced, if possible)
  • 1 cucumber
  • basil and chive butter (3 snipped fresh basil leaves, 1 tsp snipped fresh chives, 4 tbsp salted butter)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh chives and dill for garnish (if you're feeling fancy)

Instructions

  1. First, you'll want to make the basil and chive butter. Cut 4 tbsp from a block of butter and let it soften in a bowl on the counter while you cut the herbs. The chives are pretty easy to snip, but I've found the best way to cut basil leaves is to stack them one on top of the other, roll them together like a tortilla, then snip them up with kitchen scissors. Once the butter is soft, stir the herbs into the bowl with a spoon (a beater would pulverize the poor herbs). If you like, you can put it in a ramekin or small bowl.
  2. Take out six slices of bread and thinly butter them on one side, all the way to the edge of the crust.
  3. Peel the cucumber if you like (I prefer to keep the skin on). Then slice the cucumber as thinly as possible. Stack into groups about an inch high and use an apple corer to cut out the seedy centers.
  4. Place the discs of cucumber on the buttered bread and add a dash of salt and pepper. Top with another piece of buttered bread.
  5. Let sit for 10 minutes or so under a damp paper towel. This allows the ingredients to set and stay in place when you start cutting. You can discard the paper towel after this step.
  6. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut two "fun-sized" sandwiches out of each larger sandwich. You can throw out the scraps.
  7. Place on a decorative plate and garnish with lengths of fresh chive and bits of basil or dill.
  8. Enjoy while reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass!
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