Cut bacon slices into four pieces and cook in frying pan or in oven until crispy, then drain on paper towels.To cook bacon on the stovetop:Lay out the cut pieces of bacon in a frying pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes then turn to cook the other side for 3 minutes. After the bacon is done in the frying pan, drain excess fat on a paper towel. The tea sandwich is meant to be eaten with your fingers, so remove any excess fat that can leave a residue.To cook bacon in the oven: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly place the cut bacon. Cook at 400°F for 15-18 minutes. This method is best for when you're making multiple batches of this recipe.
Figure out which sized round cookie cutter will fit the cocktail tomatoes. Slice tomatoes and blot using paper towels.The size of the cocktail tomatoes will dictate how big your tea sandwich will be. The tomatoes should be able to fit inside the cookie cutter snugly. The cookie cutter will be the one used to cut the bread and lettuce into circles. Cut the tomato slices no bigger than 1/4" and lay them out on paper towels to blot.
Cut out lettuce circles using the cookie cutter.
Cut out bread circles with the cookie cutter.Avoid cutting the crust.
Assemble tea sandwiches.Spread a thin layer of mayo on one side of the bread, add a lettuce circle, then tomato, then bacon. Then repeat with bread, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and bacon to create the second layer. Skewer with a cocktail fork.
Any kind of bacon you like can be used but the thinner it is, the easier it'll be to eat and bite into.
The key to this tea sandwich is the size of the cocktail tomatoes. Don't get any other type of tomato since it'll be harder to work with since it'll either be too big or too small.
I like using butter lettuce for this recipe since it's softer and easier to work with, but you can easily swap it out for iceberg lettuce.
What makes my BLT special is not just the size, but the mayonnaise I use. It's Japanese mayo! It's creamy, smooth, tangy, and I think it's WAY better than regular mayo. But if you only have regular mayo, that works too.
You can cook bacon on the stovetop or the oven. There's less mess with the oven method and the bacon will come out more uniformly shaped than if you cook in the frying pan, but the frying pan is much quicker and easier when you're making just a couple of slices.
With the cookie cutter, I was able to get two circles out of each slice of bread. I don't like to throw out the leftover cut pieces of bread, so what I usually do is cut them into small pieces and toast them to add to salads as makeshift croutons.
When cutting out the lettuce, don't stretch out the folds since they'll spring right back.
Make sure the lettuce is completely dry before adding it to the tea sandwich.
I use the mayo and lettuce as a barrier to keep the bread from getting soggy from the tomato so stack the sandwiches in the same order I assemble them.
Everything can be cut and prepped a day the day before, but assemble the sandwiches the day of. The bacon, sliced tomatoes, and lettuce circles an be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Lay the tomatoes and lettuce in paper towels to keep them dry.
Bread circles cut easier when the bread is partially frozen. It creates cleaner cuts.
The sandwiches should be served at room temperature.
Serve tea sandwiches with black tea like Earl Grey or English breakfast tea. Black tea is strong enough to complement the rich flavors of the bacon and mayo.