Where we grew up, in Cedar City, UT, it seems there was never a baby shower, bridal shower, or wedding reception that didn’t have these ribbon finger sandwiches. I don’t know if it was just a Cedar City thing or if it was just the times, but we had these all. the. time… and not just any ribbon finger sandwiches.. these EXACT ones. The ones with a layer of deviled ham and a layer of Cheese Whiz (I know it sounds weird, but stick with me here). A couple of weeks ago, our nephew had his wedding reception in Cedar City and they served these as one of the appetizers. Of course, a flood of memories came rushing back and I wondered why I have never had these little sandwiches outside of our hometown. In fact, whenever I have mentioned them to others since, they look at me like they have no idea what I am talking about– which is a shame because I think they are so cute!
A few days ago I decided to do a tea party with my kids and made these as one of the finger foods. They were a HUGE hit with my little girls (my husband helped himself to a few and was pleasantly surprised how good were). They are just so dainty and are perfect for little tea parties (or showers, birthdays.. etc..) plus, they are SUPER easy to make.
I actually called the bakery in Cedar City to see how they make them and they told me exactly how they do it. I know they Cheese Whiz sounds strange but it holds the sandwich together better than any other cheese. Cream cheese will rip the delicate bread apart and other cheeses won’t hold the bread together and will make it hard to cut (as explained to me by the bakery workers).
You can make a variety of sandwiches as well, using egg salad, chicken salad, or tuna as layers– just make sure you chop or process the ingredients up enough so it spreads easily. As a quick added note: usually when I have had these in the past (and how the bakery still does them), the layers of bread are colored either pink, white, and green or pink, white, and orange– but obviously they all taste exactly the same. I stuck with all white bread for the sake of ease but by all means if you want to go all out, make your own bread and dye them different colors!
*These can be served immediately but in my opinion they taste best when refrigerated at least 3-4 hours– they will easily keep if made a day ahead of time. Makes 24 servings (2 finger sandwiches per serving).
Ribbon Finger Sandwiches (AKA Tea Sandwiches)
- 2 loaves white bread I like to find the largest size I can find, or 36 large slices
- 1 lb. sliced deli ham I used a roasted honey ham
- 1/2 c. mayonnaise
- 1 12-16oz jar Cheez Whiz (the spreadable kind in the glass jar)
Lay out 3 rows of 12 slices of bread.
In a food processor, process ham (in batches if needed) until ham is well chopped. Place ham in a medium-sized bowl and stir in mayonnaise until smooth and well combined.
On 12 slices of bread, spread about 2 Tbsp. of Cheez Whiz (like you would peanut butter).
On another 12 slices, spread the ham mixture.
Top the cheese slice of bread with the ham spread slice, then top with the plain slice of bread. Repeat with all bread slices.
Using a sharp knife, gently cut away the crust from each "sandwich". Cut each square in half and then half once again in the same direction (making long rectangles as seen in the picture).
Place finger sandwiches (trying not to overlap) in large Ziploc bags and refrigerate until ready to serve (up to a day ahead of time-- *see above note).