A bite of nostalgia, in the form of mini ham and cheese burgers

What’s a surefire recipe for summer gatherings? My dad’s old-fashioned ham and cheese burgers always hit the spot.

These mini sandwiches aren’t anything fancy, but the first bite can’t help but trigger all sorts of nostalgia. Gooey, gooey, and delicious, they continue to be the main attraction at our family reunions, bachelorette parties, and graduations. They’re ridiculously easy to make and incredibly indulgent; consider that U.S. Navy sailors coined the term “slider” during World War II to nickname greasy burgers because they “slid right down.”

These grab-and-go treats feature soft, tender, slightly sweet, and perfectly sized golden Hawaiian rolls. I like to slather them in a simple mustard and mayonnaise mixture. Be sure to use a good prepared mayonnaise (Hellmann’s or Duke’s) and whole grain Dijon mustard (any leftover can be stored in the refrigerator). I prefer ham, but you could opt for thinly sliced ​​turkey or corned beef.

Swiss cheese is perfect, but choose a mild variety: Gouda, Muenster, mild Cheddar, Provolone, or Gruyere. Don’t forget to brush the top with this tangy honey glaze before baking on low for the perfect chewy texture. A sprinkle of sesame or poppy seeds on top gives these cookies a delicious crunch.

Ham and cheese sliders are easy to adapt to a large table. They can be made ahead of time, glazed, and baked to serve, slightly crispy around the edges and piping hot. They’re also my go-to when I’m too busy to cook and fall back on them when I just want something simple with a tangy coleslaw or a dark green salad tossed with a tangy vinaigrette.

Ready in under 10 minutes and with no fuss, these retro combos are the ultimate party dish and the easiest dinner for two.

Mini Ham and Cheese Burgers

Makes 12 sandwiches.

You can assemble them ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to glaze and bake just before serving.

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons quality mayonnaise, such as Hellmann’s or Duke’s

1 package (12 ounces) Hawaiian rolls

1/2 pound thinly sliced ​​deli ham, smoked turkey, or corned beef

1/2 pound thinly sliced ​​Swiss, provolone, Muenster, cheddar or Gruyere cheese

1/4 (1/2 stick) melted butter

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of honey

2 teaspoons sesame or poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches overhang on the sides.

In a small dish, whisk together the mustard and mayonnaise. Set aside.

Cut the sheet of bread in half horizontally (do not separate into individual rolls). Place the bottom halves of the rolls on the sheet, cut side up. Brush the cut side with half of the mayonnaise-mustard mixture. Add half of the ham, layering it evenly on the bread, then all of the cheese, then top with the remaining ham.

Brush the cut side of the top of the buns with the remaining mayonnaise-mustard mixture. Place it on top of the ham layer.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, Worcestershire sauce and honey. Brush tops and sides of buns with mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking uncovered until rolls are golden brown and toasted, about 5 minutes more.

To serve, lift up the overlapping parchment paper and place the rolls on a cutting board. Cut into individual sandwiches.

Beth Dooley is the author of “The Perennial Kitchen.” Find her at bethdooleyskitchen.com.

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