Use these four ideas to make cookie cutter sandwiches and quickly turn boring old peanut butter and jelly sandwiches into a fun lunch for your children.
How to Make fun-shaped sandwiches for Kids
Ask our three-year-old what his favorite food is and he’ll tell you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I swear he could eat them morning, noon and night for all three meals.
While he does eat other foods for breakfast and dinner, I can’t get him to sway from his favorite peanut butter and jelly for lunch no matter how hard I try. He never tires of them, especially since I started making his peanut butter and jelly into fun shapes. It started innocently enough. I’d ask him if he wanted two rectangles or two triangles. Eventually, his options branched out to include four squares or four triangles, but it really got fun when we started to make cookie cutter sandwiches!
How to Make Fun Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
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1. Choose the right cookie cutters.
While you could make cookie cutter sandwiches using any type of cookie cutter, I’ve found the Wilton Comfort Grip Cookie Cutters are perfect for it.
These cookie cutters are stainless steel and thicker than average (2 inches) which makes it easier for them to slice through two pieces of bread without squishing or distorting the sandwich. The Wilton Comfort Grip Cookie Cutters are also top-rack dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up after lunch.
We only have six of these cookie cutters, but Wilton offers a huge variety of shapes making it possible to have cookie cutter sandwiches for every holiday or occasion.
2. Select the right bread for cookie cutter sandwiches.
I prefer the larger slices of whole-grain bread. Our family’s current favorite is Brownberry Whole Grain Oatnut Bread®, but the cookie cutter sandwiches would work with any variety of larger sliced bread. I’ve found it works best to lightly toast the bread to make it easier to cut through the sandwich and keep your desired shape in tact.
3. Save the cookie cutter sandwich scraps.
The Wilton Comfort Grip Cookie Cutters are fairly large, so very little bread remains after you cut the shapes out of the sandwiches. If your child doesn’t eat crusts, you’re all set.
However, I didn’t want anything to go to waste, so I found that if you’re careful when removing the cookie cutter shaped sandwich from the center of the bread, the remaining crust has a hole that is the same shape in the center. I started calling the remaining crust, “puzzle toast,” which made it more fun to our three-year-old. In fact, most of the time I just leave the cookie cutter sandwiches in the center of the crusts when I serve them at lunch these days.
4. Get creative with your sandwiches.
Once they become a regular lunchtime feature, it only gets more creative and fun from there.
One week, our local library had a fireman talk to the kids during storytime, so that day at lunch I made our son’s sandwich into firemen cookie cutter sandwiches with mini chocolate chip eyes, peanut noses, raisin buttons, and string cheese fire hoses aimed at a veggie straw fire. While my attempt at firemen sandwiches may not have been successful by an art critic’s standards, our son thought it was the best lunch he ever had.
Give cookie cutter sandwiches a try and you’ll find it makes lunch fun for your kids. At lunchtime, our son races to the kitchen to choose which shape he wants for his sandwich. Just today, I was making lunch for our son and cut the sandwich into the shape of a mitten.
This was our conversation —
Me: “Look at your sandwich!”
C1: “It’s a mitten!”
Me: “Yes, it’s a mitten because it’s SOOO cold outside! Brrrr…”
C1: “Next time you should make it a heart, because you love me.”
I prefer to make the sandwich first and then cut the entire sandwich with the cookie cutters. It’s really tough to make a PB &J with small-shaped pieces of bread.
Any shape will work! Just make sure and use a large enough cookie cutter. Match the shape of the cookie cutter with the current season/holiday.
Use the largest size you can find and cut out as much of the sandwich as you can. This will waste the least amount of bread.
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While you’re here be sure to check out other fun food ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –
- Monster Cookie Bars: Easy Dessert Recipe for Kids
- Easy Peanut Brittle Recipe: Ready in Just 15 Minutes!
- Easy S’mores Cake: Cake Mix Solutions
Originally published January 2014, updated January 2020.