Cinnamon Swirl Ham and Swiss Panini

It is no secret that I gravitate toward sweet and salty combinations. This “recipe”, and to be honest I am a little embarrassed to call it that, is a loving re-creation of a breakfast sandwich my husband and I often order at Zingerman’s deli. Our typical Spring/Summer/Fall Saturday morning routine consists of heading down to the Farmer’s Market in Ann Arbor with empty bags and hungry stomachs. Don’t worry, we never shop hungry…there is always a breakfast pit-stop involved first. There are several great breakfast spots within walking distance of the market and we try to mix it up each week.

I love taking classic combinations, like ham and swiss, and giving it an exciting twist. I only wish I would have invented this version myself! Don’t let the cinnamon raisin bread scare you from making this sandwich; at first I thought it would be odd too. The deli uses french toast slices as the bread (served with maple syrup), but I actually prefer the sweeter, heartier texture of the cinnamon raisin bread. The ham and swiss obviously contribute the salty elements, but what is really irresistible is the crunch that results from grilling the sandwich. Sweet and salty PLUS crunchy and melty…I can’t think of a more satisfying breakfast/brunch/lunch/breakfast for dinner sandwich. When its that good you need to have options!

Lucky for us this sandwich is both easy and delicious!

Ingredients (per sandwich)

  • 2 slices cinnamon raisin bread
  • 1 thick slice swiss cheese
  • 2-3 thin slices of ham
  • Butter (for spreading)

Begin by warming a skillet over medium heat on the stove.

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Spread one side of the bread slices with a thin layer of softened butter.

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Turn the bread butter-side down. Tear the slice of swiss cheese in half and place one half on each piece of bread.

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Next, arrange the ham over one of the slices of bread. This ham was extremely thin and difficult to separate in long, beautiful slices so it ended up being a piled on mess. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to taste good. Top with the other slice of bread/cheese.

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Grill the sandwich over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt and the bread is golden brown.

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Flip, and grill on the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

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Holy moly; look at that golden crust. Remove to a cutting board and slice on a diagonal; there is nothing like a sandwich sliced on the diagonal…reminds me of being a kid.

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I think this looks good enough to eat. It’s the weekend; enjoy!

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