- Fancy Shaped Simple Sandwiches: (1) Make ordinary sandwiches using thinly sliced bread, butter and fillings. Cut into small triangles, diamonds, squares and fingers. (2) Cut thin bread slices with small, shaped cutters to make circles,flowers, stars, hearts, crescents, etc. Spread with butter, then spread one half with filling and cover with matching buttered slice.
- Rainbow Ribbons: Make 4-layer sandwiches, alternating 1/2″ buttered slices of white and brown bread and using three contrasting, smooth-textured, moist fillings such as minced ham, minced egg and olive and pimento cream cheese. Press firmly together. With a sharp knife, cut crusts from sides of each stack. Wrap, then chill for several hours. To serve, cut into 1/2″ slices and cut each slice into halves or thirds–oblongs or triangles.
- Checkerboards: Make 3- or 4-layer ribbon sandwiches as above, but after removing crust, cut each stack into 1/2″ slices. Spread cut sides of slices with seasoned butter or moist filling and rebuild into 3- or 4-layer stacks, with the strips of bread all running in the same direction and with dark strips next to light strips, in checkerboard design. Press together firmly, wrap, then chill for several hours. To serve, cut in 1/2″ slices.
- Open-Face Pretties: Cut slices of bread into different shapes. Spread with butter and filling. Decorate with contrasting garnishes using a different garnish on each kind of sandwich.
- Wagon Wheels: Make small round sandwiches, using a fairly thick layer of moist filling. Roll edges in chopped parsley, which should cling to the filling. Insert a toothpick through center of each sandwich and place a stuffed olive on one side of pick, close to the bread, and a pickled onion on the other.
- Pinwheels: Cut thin slices of unsliced bread, lengthwise. Spread with butter and filling. Remove crusts. At one end (for center of pinwheel) place a row of stuffed olives or pitted cherries, gherkins, dill pickle (plain or hollowed out and filled with cream cheese), dates, asparagus, stuffed celery, banana or cooked sausage, etc. Roll up firmly like a jelly roll, sealing edge with butter or filling. Wrap, then chill for several hours. To serve, cut each roll into 6 to 8 pinwheels. For variety make some pinwheels without center decoration.
- Pyramids: Make pinwheels without center decoration. At serving time cut pinwheel roll in two then cut each half diagonally from corner to corner into four pieces and serve upright. (One pinwheel roll makes 8 small pyramids.)
- Rollups: Follow directions for pinwheels but use ordinary sliced bread and only very small center decoration (e.g. asparagus tip or piece of watercress). To serve, cut diagonally in half, or cut into bite-size pieces, toast in oven or broiler and serve on cocktail picks.
- Diplomas and Caps: For Diplomas–make Rollups as above, using white bread. Leave whole and decorate with ribbon and bow of pimento cream cheese put through a cake decorator or cut from thinly sliced process cheese. For Caps–use 2 inch squares and 1-1/2 inch circles of sliced, dark rye bread. Butter and put together with filling. Garnish square (top cap) with pimento “tassel”.
- Mosaics: Cut thin slices of white and brown bread into fancy shapes and spread half of each with butter and filling. Using miniature cutters, cut small shapes from centers or corners of remaining slices and butter, if desired. Put sandwiches together, matching shapes and using a white and brown slice for each. Serve as they are or insert the tiny shapes cut from brown slices into openings of similar shape in white slices, and vice versa.
- Lilies: Cut thinly sliced bread into 2 to 3 inch squares, butter and spread with filling. Roll into cone shape by overlapping two opposite corners in center. Pack seam side down in pan or box lined with waxed paper. Chill. Garnish top with strips of pimento or ripe olive, to resemble stamens of lily.
- Foldups or Purses: Prepare same as lilies but instead of rolling into cone shape, fold lower edge then top edge over center to make 3-layer oblong, similar to purse.
- Cornucopias: Prepare similarly to lilies but do not spread on filling. Roll bread into cone shape, fill with egg salad or other sandwich filling and pack seam side down until serving time. Garnish as desired.
- Baskets: Prepare similarly to lilies but arrange small mound of filling diagonally across center from one corner to another. Pinch other two corners together over filling, and insert onion ring or other suitable rounded strip as handle of basket. Garnish with sprigs of cress or parsley.
- Flowerpots: Cut unsliced loaf of bread into 1 inch slices and each slice into 1 inch to 1-1/2 inch rounds or squares. Hollow out center of each with scissors and fill with sandwich filling. Garnish meat or egg salad flowerpots with radish rose and parsley or cress. Garnish cheese or sweet flowerpots with cress and parsley and a strawberry or cherry, cut part way down into sections spread apart to resemble a flower.
- Rye Pies: Cut 1/2 inch slice of round loaf (rye, pumpernickel, etc.) and leave on crust. Spread with butter. Starting at outer edge and using cake decorating tube, apply alternating circles of contrasting, smooth-textured sandwich fillings (e.g. finely minced egg salad, cream cheese with minced watercress, devilled ham spread). Decorate center and outer edge with sliced radish, pickle, olive, or tiny onions, etc. Chill. To serve, cut in small, pie-shaped wedge.
- Angles: Remove crusts from loaf of brown and loaf of white day-old, unsliced bread, cutting loaves to equal size. Divide each loaf in half by making a lengthwise diagonal cut to form two triangles. Place widest side of each triangle down on bread board and slice lengthwise from pointed ridge down through center of base, making eight long bread triangles in all. Spread one (narrow) side of each triangle with butter and smooth, moist sandwich filling. Reassemble into two loaves by alternating two triangles of each kind of bread. Press together, wrap and chill for several hours. To serve, cut each loaf into 15 slices and each slice in half, making 60 angle sandwiches.
- Roll Rings: Cut ends off hard rolls or wiener rolls with all-over crust. Hollow out centers with apple corer or knife. Pack hollow with smooth-textured sandwich filling. Replace ends of rolls, wrap and chill for several hours. Cut in 1/4 inch slices.
- For best results, use soft fresh bread and allow sufficient time for chilling to set shapes.
- For a large gathering, 3 or 4 different kinds of plain sandwiches may be prepared, cut in fingers, squares and circles, then arranged attractively on plates with a few colorful mosaics, baskets, pyramids or other intriguingly-shaped fancy sandwiches for contrast.
- When making sandwiches in quantity, organize the work area so that there will be no wasted motion. Use assembly-line methods, making all of one kind of sandwiches before going on to the next.
More ideas found here: Fancy Sandwiches & Garnish Ideas.
Source: 1959 booklet from Canada Department of Agriculture