Old-Fashioned Open Cheese and Bacon Sandwich

Open Bacon and Cheese Sandwich

While browsing through a hundred-year-old cookbook, I came across a recipe for Open Cheese and Bacon Sandwiches, and decided to give it a try. I was intrigued because this toasted bacon and cheese sandwich recipe called for a topping made of soft cheese (I used pureed cottage cheese) and eggs, plus a little ketchup, paprika and cayenne red pepper which gave the topping a bit of a zing. The cheese and the bacon worked well together, and made a delightful sandwich that was a nice change from the typical grilled cheese and bacon sandwich.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Open Cheese and Bacon Sandwich
Source: For Luncheon and Supper Guests (1922) by Alice Bradley

I decided to use cottage cheese when I made this recipe since it would have been readily available a hundred years ago. I put it through my Foley mill to make it smooth.

I’m not exactly sure what the old cookbook is referring to when it calls for table sauce, but  when I made this recipe, based on the previous suggestions of some readers, I decided to use ketchup.

I skipped the salt since the bacon and cheese already contained salt, and I didn’t want an overly salty sandwich. I cooked the bacon until it was lightly crisped before assembling the sandwich since I thought that it would be too greasy if I put the bacon on top of the cheese without cooking it. I put the sandwich under the broiler to cook.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Open Cheese and Bacon Sandwich

  • Servings: 8 sandwiches
  • Difficulty: moderate
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8 – 12 slices of bacon (cut in half) (If the slices are wide use 8 slices, if narrow use 12.)

3 eggs, beaten

12 ounces soft cheese (cottage cheese, chevre, feta, Brie, ricotta, etc.), grated or pureed ( I used cottage cheese, and put it through a Foley mill to make smooth.)

1 1/2 teaspoon ketchup

1/2 teaspoon paprika

dash cayenne (red) pepper

8 slices bread

Put the bacon in a skillet; arrange so that each piece is flat. Using medium heat, cook until lightly crisped, while turning frequently. While cooking, periodically press the pieces with  a spatula or back of a spoon to flatten and make thinner. When lightly crisped, remove from the heat and drain on paper towel towels.

In the meantime, put eggs, soft cheese, ketchup paprika, and cayenne pepper in a bowl; stir to combine.

Put the bread slices on a baking sheet, and put under the broiler until lightly browned. Remove from oven/broiler, and flip. Spoon the cheese and egg mixture on the bread, and spread to the edges of each slice. Top with 2 – 3 slices of cooked bacon, and put back under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly browned. Remove from oven/broiler and serve.


Old-fashioned Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwich on PlateI often see sandwich recipes in hundred-year-old cookbooks. They often contain different ingredients from modern sandwiches, and don’t pique my interest. But. I was intrigued by a recipe for Cucumber Sandwiches. There’s a bumper crop of cucumbers this year, so decided to give the recipe a try. The sandwiches contain lettuce and cucumber slices coated with a sweet-sour Boiled Dressing.

The lettuce and cucumber slices were crisp and the sandwich was tasty – though it seemed very old-fashioned and made me think about old novels where the heroine eats dainty sandwiches similar to this.

The bread is buttered for this recipe. I haven’t buttered bread when making sandwiches in years. Which made the sandwich seem even more old-fashioned.

I probably won’t make this recipe again, but it was fun to make one time.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Cucumber Sandwiches
Source: The New Cookery (1921) by Lenna Frances Cooper

And, here’s the old recipe for Boiled Dressing:

Recipe for Boiled Dressing
Source: The New Cookery (1921) by Lenna Frances Cooper

One loaf of bread would make 8 or 10 sandwiches. There was no way that my husband and I were doing to eat that many. So when I made this recipe, I really scaled the Cucumber Sandwiches Recipe down, and gave directions for one sandwich. The Cucumber Sandwich recipe calls for Boiled Dressing. I made the full Boiled Dressing recipe and used the left-over dressing on other salads. It kept well in the refrigerator.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Cucumber Sandwiches

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: moderate
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For each serving:

6 – 8 cucumber slices, thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons boiled dressing (see recipe below)

1/8 teaspoon grated onion

2 slices bread (preferably thinly sliced)


leaf lettuce

Put boiled dressing and grated onion in a small bowl; stir to combine. Add cucumber slices. Gently roll and stir the slices to coat with the dressing. Set aside.

Butter the bread slices. Put the lettuce leaf on one slice. Top with the cucumber slices that are coated with dressing. Put the second butter slice of bread on top. Serve immediately.

Boiled Dressing

2 egg yolks, well beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon flour

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

Put beaten egg yolks, salt, sugar and flour in a small bowl; stir until blended. Add milk, lemon juice, and butter or olive oil. Put in a saucepan, and heat using medium heat while stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and refrigerate. If the mixture begins to curdle place the pan in a larger pan of cold water and beat vigorously using a mixer.

The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several days.


Old-fashioned Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwich on Plate

I often make toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch (actually I make grilled cheese sandwiches, but I call them toasted cheese sandwiches), so I was intrigued by a hundred-year-old recipe for Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches.

The old recipe called for toasting the sandwiches in the oven (or over a coal fire!). It also called for making a cheese filling that contained grated cheese, dry mustard, and paprika – rather than just using slices of cheese.

The sandwiches turned out well. The Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches were crisp and toasty, and nice and gooey in the middle. The cheese filling had just a hint of the spices.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches
Source: Mrs. Scott’s Seasonal Cook Books (The North American Newspaper, Philadelphia, Winter, 1921)

The recommended way of softening the grated cheese by putting it in a bowl that is then placed over another pan containing hot water seemed very old-fashioned, but I followed the directions and it worked well. The cheese softened quickly so that the spices could be easily stirred into the cheese, and it was very spreadable.

Since I know that cheese contains a lot of salt, I skipped adding salt when I made this recipe. Also, I used a level teaspoon of dry mustard instead of a rounded one that was called for in the recipe.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Hot Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

  • Servings: 3 Sandwiches
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar cheese. American would also work well.)

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon paprika

6 slices bread


Put grated cheese, dry mustard, and paprika into a bowl; stir to mix. Put the bowl in a shallow pan of hot water for 2-3 minutes (or put in the microwave for a few seconds). Once the cheese has begun to soften, stir again to get the spices evenly spread throughout the mixture.

In the meantime, butter the bread on one side. Place three slices on a baking sheet with the buttered side down. Spread the slices with the cheese mixture. Top with the remaining bread slices. The buttered side should be up.

Put under the broiler in the oven, and toast until the bread is lightly browned. Flip the sandwiches and return to broiler. Toast until the second side is lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.