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Decorating Tea Sandwiches and Savories
By Ellen Easton 2013 – All Rights Reserved
Photos by Ellen Easton 2013 – All Rights Reserved.
Check out more of Ellen Easton’s Tea Travels™ articles and recipes
Decorating teatime sandwiches and savories can be as easy as using a cookie cutter, scissor, and vegetable scraper. One need not be a master chef to create a pretty and imaginative presentation.
Sandwiches and Savories as photographed:
Linzer Heart Tea Sandwiches with Peanut Butter and Raspberry Preserves
Linzer Salmon Flower
Open Face Chive Cream Cheese Heart with Chive Stem and Radish Petals
Spinach Wrap Leaf with Boursin Cheese and Julienne Beets
Spinach Wrap Leaf with Pureed Tuna Salad and Julienne Carrots
Spinach Wrap and American Cheddar Cheese Rosette
Carrot and Radish Rosettes
Please note, the above menu is not balanced for tea service, but to demonstrate the various shapes.
Preparing Decorative Garnishes:
Carrot: Wash the carrot. Cut off the pointed end of the carrot. Using a vegetable scraper, beginning approximately 2 inches up from the point, scrap the ends of the carrot into a new lean point. Once shaped, cut off 2 inches from the stem of the carrot. On the flat cut edge side, using a small sharp knife, cut down into the edges of the carrot to create petal shapes. Rotate the carrot several times, repeating the cuts.
Radish: Wash the radish. Cut off the bottom to allow the radish to stand flat. Using a small sharp knife, cut down into the top edges of the radish to create petal shapes. Repeat 3 or 4 times. The interior of the radish will be white. Gently refine the shape inside of the white. Using the blade of the knife, cut a criss-cross pattern into the flesh of the white center.
Vegetables: Using a paring knife or scissors, cut cooked beets, carrots, chives, leeks, peppers, pimentos, or any other vegetables of choice into thinly-sliced strips. When vegetables are thinly sliced, a tiny cookie cutter may also be used to create shapes suitable for garnishing or decorating tea sandwiches and savories.
Linzer Style Tea Sandwiches:
Recommended Tools and Garnishes:
Small and mini cookie cutters, scissors, vegetable scraper, wax paper, carrots, cooked beets, chive, leek, pimentos, colored bell peppers, olive, and edible flowers.
Foods that will show color in the window – salmon, colored cheese, preserves, ham, and chopped egg.
How To Prepare Individual Linzer Tea Sandwich:
Linzer style tea sandwiches are not limited to white bread only. You may use any bread that can be thinly rolled out to accommodate the use of a cookie cutter.
Using a cookie cutter in the shape of your choice, cut out two (2) identical bread pieces. Apply softened butter, either plain or seasoned, sparingly on one side of the bread to keep the bread moist. Using a smaller size cookie cutter in the shape of your choice, cut out the center of the second piece of bread to create an open window. A helpful hint when using a very small cookie cutter – instead of trying to remove the bread from the outside of the cutter, gently ease the interior section out with the tip of a pointed knife.
Use the solid cut piece of bread as the base. Place the filling of your choice on the base piece of bread. Place the windowed piece of bread on top to close the sandwich.
Wrap Style Tea Savories:
How To Prepare Individual Wrap Style Tea Savory:
Make certain the wrap you use is fresh and moist as the dry dough will crack. Flavored wraps of spinach, tomato, and red bell pepper help to bring color into your tea menu.
Using a cookie cutter in the shape of your choice, cut out individual pieces. Apply the softened butter, either plain or seasoned, sparingly on one side of the wrap to keep it moist. Apply the filling and garnish. Press you fingers on the side to mold the edges to crate a dimensional shape.
When using a soft cheese filling to create the swirled look, use the prongs of a fork to pull the cheese into the design you wish.
How To Create A Rose Bud Wrap:
Cut the wrap into a half moon or semi-circle shape. Apply the softened butter, either plain or seasoned, sparingly on one side of the wrap to keep it moist. Place the filling onto the wrap. Use fillings are are easy to roll, such as soft cheese, thinly-sliced ham, fine spread of egg salad, or pate.
On an angle, roll the wrap in a spiral shape to create open edges to form a rosette. Pinch or fold the ends to secure the bottom. You may also secure the closing by tying the ends with a chive or leek strip.
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Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions (RED WAGON PRESS), a lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included The Waldorf=Astoria, Plaza Hotels, and Bergdorf Goodman. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated tea estates on the island.
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