• A skillet can handle one or two sandwiches at a time, but what if you need to feed a group? We wanted a recipe that would give us eight perfectly grilled sandwiches in the time it normally takes to make just one. Here’s what we discovered: shopping list
  • Test Kitchen Discoveries shopping list
  • To jump-start cooking and crisping, let the baking sheet preheat in the oven before cooking the sandwiches. shopping list
  • Because cheddar doesn’t melt as readily as other cheeses, we combined it with easy-melting Monterey Jack. Shredding the cheeses also helps them to melt faster. shopping list
  • We didn’t have a panini press large enough to accommodate eight sandwiches, so we made our own makeshift one. shopping list
  • Crowd Pleasers shopping list
  • It's a snap to make one or two grilled cheese sandwiches in a skillet, but what if you have a hungry crowd to feed? Ensuring even results while juggling multiple skillets is challenging. We devised a better method. shopping list
  • 1. Place a preheated baking sheet on a cooling rack and arrange the assembled sandwiches on the sheet. shopping list
  • 2. Put the baking sheet with the sandwiches in the oven, and place a second hot baking sheet, rim side up, on top. shopping list
  • Plan B shopping list
  • If you only have 1 baking sheet, place it on the middle rack and follow the recipe up to step 3. Place the sandwiches on the heated sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the tray to a cooling rack, carefully flip the sandwiches with a spatula, and return to the oven for another 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp and golden. shopping list

How to make it

  • You’ll need two rimmed baking sheets for this recipe, or see the step by step "Plan B" (below left).
  • 2 2/3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 16 slices hearty white sandwich bread
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , melted
  • 1/2 cup red pepper jelly
  • 8 slices ham
  • 1. PREHEAT BAKING SHEETS Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle positions. Place 1 baking sheet on each rack and heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • 2. ASSEMBLE SANDWICHES Combine cheeses in bowl. Brush one side of each slice of bread with melted butter. Spread each sandwich with 1 tablespoon red pepper jelly and then layer with 1/4 cup cheese, 1 slice ham, and additional 1/4 cup cheese. Cover with remaining bread slices, buttered side up, and press down gently.
  • 3. BAKE SANDWICHES Remove hot baking sheets from oven and place on cooling rack. Arrange sandwiches on 1 sheet. Return to middle rack of oven, and carefully place second sheet over sandwiches, rim side up. Bake sandwiches until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove top baking sheet and transfer sheet with sandwiches to cooling rack. Serve.

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