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Posted by Denise on September 20, 2011

josephines on brown plate best

Josephines are great hot appetizers for parties or for your family if dinner is going to be a while yet. Make a batch up and throw them in the freezer for when you are running short of time.

Josephines are little open faced, cheese and chili pepper sandwiches. Hot and bubbly, Josephines make great appetizers for parties or a treat for lunch or dinner. The topping can be as mild or as spicy as you would like to make it, depending on what types of peppers you choose to use.

My older sister, Benneth, (Yes, that is really her name. We call her Ben.) always shares interesting and delicious recipes. She shared her recipe for Josephines with us over 25 years ago. Ben got the recipe from her mother-in-law, Marcia, a good cook herself. Nobody knows why they are called Josephines, but after you try them, you will be like the rest of us who don’t really care why, they taste so good they just are Josephines. J

Glenn and I normally would use the little Pepperidge Farms Party Rye for the bread base of the Josephines. The Party Rye is about ¼ the size of a normal slice of bread, thinly sliced, and firm textured to hold up all of the gooey cheese topping. Unfortunately, this time we could not find the Party Rye anywhere, so we made these with a thinly sliced, small sized wheat bread instead and they were still wonderful.

The first time we tried to make Josephines using the wheat bread, we discovered that although they tasted great, the bread did not hold up to the cheese topping well. It just was not as firm in texture as the party rye bread. So the next time we made Josephines on the wheat bread, we toasted the bread briefly before applying the cheese mixture to make the bread firmer. It worked great and held up well.

If we were using the Josephines for appetizers, I would have cut each slice into 4 pretty little triangles instead of halves. If you find the small party bread, they look great left whole. Canned chopped or sliced chili peppers add a nice flavor without any real heat, so if you prefer it to be spicier, use chopped pickled jalapeño peppers. Remember to warn guests if you use spicy peppers for party appetizers.




Makes 12 small open-faced sandwiches for appetizers 

josephine ingredients 

Ingredients for Josephines



Makes 12 small open-faced sandwiches

Note: The Josephines can be made up in advance and frozen. Frozen Josephines will take a little longer under the broiler to cook and brown. The cheese mixture can also be made up in advance, covered and refrigerated for up to two days before using. Let the mixture sit out for 15 minutes to warm up slightly before spreading on the bread.



1        Cup mayonnaise

1        Small can chopped or sliced green chili peppers

9        Oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

¼       teaspoon garlic powder

¾       Stick margarine or butter, softened





1.    Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir together.


 adding ingredients for josephines

adding chilis to josephines


josephines all ingredients mixed in bowl




2.    If you are using a firm rye bread, spread a layer of the cheese mixture on top of each slice. If you are using a lighter textured bread, toast it up slightly before you apply the cheese topping.


        Adjust the racks on your oven so that the one you will use is about 6” away from the broiler element. Turn on the broiler.


       You can toast the bread lightly under the broiler or in a toaster. Smaller slices may not be easy to get out of the toaster. If your toasted bread cannot be reached, unplug the toaster and use bamboo tongs or turn the toaster upside down to safely and carefully remove the toast. (Safety note: DO NOT USE A METAL UTENSIL TO REMOVE ANYTHING FROM THE TOASTER WHILE IT IS PLUGGED IN!)  If toasting in the oven and your rack is closer than 6” to the element, toasting the bread will be quicker. Make sure you watch it closely since broiled items can go from almost done to burnt very quickly if you get distracted! It will take about 3 minutes per side or less, depending on how powerful your broiler is.


josephines on baking stone




3.    Place the bread slices on a cookie sheet or baking stone, leaving space between each slice. Broil for 4-6 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned on top. Serve immediately while hot.


 josephines baked on sheet




josephines on blue edged plate





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