Funeral sandwiches get their name for their prominence as a comfort food to offer condolences upon a death, but they can be made for any occasion or simply as an easy lunch or dinner. These small sandwiches are made with dinner rolls and baked casserole-style in a sweet glaze with spices. Take 10 minutes to prep the sandwiches the night before, and pop them in the oven for a quick meal the next day. Include baking instructions when offering funeral sandwiches as a dish to others.
Split or cut the rolls in half horizontally. Place the bottom halves of the rolls in the bottom of an ungreased baking dish, leaving space between each piece. Traditional funeral sandwiches are made with Hawaiian sweet rolls, but you can substitute any other roll of roughly the same size and softness.
Cut or fold ham and Swiss cheese slices to fit the size of the rolls. Substitute other meats and cheeses if you want to sway from the traditional ham and Swiss cheese funeral sandwiches.
Place one or two slices of ham on each roll and top the ham with Swiss cheese. Place the tops of the rolls on top of the cheese.
Combine melted butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and onion powder in a mixing bowl. Spices can be mixed to taste.
Spoon some of the sauce mixture over the top of each sandwich. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the entire dish, allowing the excess to drip down to the bottom of the dish.
Cover the sandwiches with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours. You can skip the rest period if you're short on time, but a longer rest allows more time for the rolls to soak up the sauce and the flavors to mesh.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and remove the rolls from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Bake the funeral sandwiches uncovered until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the tops of the rolls are medium brown and slightly crunchy.
- Try Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard for a flavor kick. You can also add ingredients such as garlic powder or crushed red pepper to change up the traditional preparation.
- Simmer the ingredients in a saucepan if they don't emulsify well in a mixing bowl.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.