Party Panache, Ham & Swiss Swirls and Appetizer Tips

I discovered a great trick to use when you’re having a bunch of appetizers

Christmas buffet

Our Christmas Eve party was all appetizers that needed last minute baking, hmmm…

appetizer buffet

I only have one oven,  and guests were coming at 11 am…

So I made a plan….  [you can see the entire menu here]

And a schedule….

3 days ahead make Coconut Rum Snowball

2 days ahead:  make and bake Pigs in a Blanket, and Santa’s Cookies 

1 day ahead:   make and refrigerate Ham & Swiss Swirls, Bacon Bundles and Cranberry Pie Spirals

and printed out a time line…

Party Day

8 am          Cranberry Pie Spirals    400       12-15 min

8:30 am       Bacon Bundles     400       30-40 min

assemble Asparagus & Tomato Tart

9:30 am            Ham & Cheese Spirals          350         25 min

Plate sandwiches, noses, snowball

10:00 am             Asparagus & Tomato Tart             400         30 min

10:30am           Reheat Pigs in a Blanket

open Capri Suns for children’s table, set up bar

Warming TIPAs the dishes came out of the oven, I wrapped them tightly with foil, then towels, and stacked them on top of each other or next to each other.  You can also put the hot dishes in a cooler or laundry basket, wrapped in towels,  to keep warm for transporting


It worked like a charm!

Everything was finished cooking before the guests arrived and stayed warm until I plated them for serving about 11:30

ham & swiss poppy seed pinwheels

The Ham and Swiss Spirals with  Mustard Poppy Seed Butter  were the hit of the party

You have probably made, seen or eaten these before, they have been arriving at parties for years.  This is an updated version of the tried and true little sandwich.  I adapted this recipe from High Heels and Grills


Layer thin slices of deli ham and swiss on a crescent roll dough sheet


Roll into a log


Slice and place slices cut side up into a shallow baking pan

ham & swiss rolls

Melt butter and add mustard, Worcestershire, minced onions and poppy seeds


Drizzle some over each swirl


Cover and refrigerate until baking for up to 24 hours

Ham & Double Cheese Spirals

Make a lot, these will go fast!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 16 spirals


  • parchment paper
  • 9" x 13" baking dish



  • 1 can crescent roll sheet
  • 1/2 lb thinly sliced deli smoked ham
  • 4 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 oz bleu cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup Maple Bacon Aioli or Mayonnaise

Mustard Butter

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp minced onions
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds, optional



  • Unroll dough into a large rectangle on a piece of parchment paper, pinching seams together if necessary.
  • Spread dough with Aioli or Mayonnaise
  • Place ham on dough in an even layer.
  • Now top with an even layer of cheddar cheese.
  • Sprinkle bleu cheese crumbles over all
  • Beginning at long side, carefully roll dough into a log, using the parchment paper as an aid, and rolling as tightly as possible. Repair any dough tears by pinching back together as you roll.
  • Wrap dough in parchment and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to make slicing easier
  • Carefully slice log roll into 14-16 slices. Place slices, cut side up, into a greased 9" x 13" shallow baking dish
  • Drizzle spirals with mustard butter*
  • Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until dough is puffed and golden
  • Serve warm or at room temperature

Mustard Butter

  • Melt butter and add mustard, minced onions, poppy seeds and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well to combine.


*Cover dish and refrigerate up to 24 hours before baking if desired
You can also use this mustard butter on plain ham biscuits:
Ham Biscuits with Mustard Butter
Prepare frozen small biscuits or rolls according to package directions.  Cut biscuits/rolls in half and brush liberally with mustard butter.  Put a thick piece of ham, or a stack of thin slices, cut to size, on each biscuit/roll bottom and replace top.  Place biscuits/rolls into pan or casserole dish and brush with remaining butter sauce.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes until hot. 
You can add a slice of cheese to these biscuits if desired
Keyword appetizer, ham and swiss, ham swirls, ham, cheddar, & bleu cheese swirls, sandwich bite, spirals
ham & swiss poppy seed pinwheels

By the way, we were still nibbling on leftovers from this party several days later.  Just put everything on a baking sheet and warm for 10 minutes in a 350 oven

Happy New Year!  🎉


I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs

Celebrate and Decorate, It’s Overflowing, Rustic and Refined,

Between Naps on the Porch, Coastal Charm, Cooking and Crafting with J&J, Project Inspire, The Scoop, Something to Talk AboutA Stroll Thru Life    Inspire Me Monday

Crafty Staci,   Tickle My TastebudsWow Us Wednesday

Creative Ways, Favorite Things, Full Plate Thursday, Share Your Style, Work it Wednesday

Home Matters, Idea BoxWeekend Retreat,

23 Responses to “Party Panache, Ham & Swiss Swirls and Appetizer Tips”
  1. Jodi says:

    Just had the ham and Swiss sammies recently and asked my son and daughter in law to bring to our party tonight. They do them on Hawaiian rolls. They are crazy delish! Happy new year Jenna!

  2. Liz Mackie says:

    Thank you and Happy New Year 

  3. Rosie M. says:

    Oh, Jenna, I could definitely take some lessons from you in plotting a timeline for completing party preparations! My Thanksgiving schedule did not work at all this year. I had had it catered and too many things had to be heated up at the same time. If I do it again next year, I’ll try your foil and towel idea! Yummy new recipe. Thanks!! I’m doing dessert for New Year’s or I’d definitely try your ham and cheese swirls. Have a wonderful New Year!! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

    • Thanks Rosie, having a written timeline really helps when there are a lot of people around and it’s so easy to get distracted. Hope your New Year is happy and healthy! >

  4. Hi Jenna, I am thinking of doing an “all-appetizer” day next year for Christmas, with the full meals on Christmas Eve and the following day. Even with a double oven timing all the cookie sheets and baking pans can be tricky. Wrapping up and putting in a cooler is a great idea! Happy New Year! Linda

  5. Perfect planning and delicious!
    Happy New Year!

  6. Lynn says:

    The sandwiches sound really good! Happy New Year:@)

  7. Jenna, I needed a timeline for all the food I have prepared since Thanksgiving! I should take your advice and write it down! The ham and Swiss rolls are always a hit!

  8. Julie says:

    Hello Jenna,
    You are such a creative entertainer. The appetizer all look and sound so yummy. Thanks for sharing your tips and the recipe for ham & swiss swirls at Cooking and Crafting with J & J. Wishing you a nice week and a happy new year. Julie xo

  9. Carlee says:

    These look absolutely great. It is always hard having all of the food ready at the same time for a party. This timeline is great!

  10. JESS44903 says:

    Oh I so love this idea! I’ve pinned it!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  11. Miz Helen says:

    I just pinned these, they will be great for the next party. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great day!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

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