Panini Pops!

I don’t know why I didn’t try this sooner!

Do you follow Bakerella and her ridiculously cute cake pops? Her creativity is truly boundless, I always look forward to see what cuteness is coming up next. It was her venture into pie pops earlier this month that sparked an idea in my head – if you can bake little pies on sticks, why not little sandwiches?

Assembling the sandwiches

These were incredibly simple to make. The main concern is ensuring enough “adhesive” (a.k.a., cheese) to hold the bread and lollipop sticks all in place. I went with a shredded Mexican blend because I knew it would melt well without becoming too goopy. Crumbled bacon and chopped chives added flavor without disrupting the stickiness factor.

Cutting out the pops

I opted to grill the sandwiches first and then cut out the shapes while they were still hot – the edges stayed nice and clean and the cheese was still melty enough to grip the sticks. I got two cutouts per sandwich, so there were plenty of leftover ends for my toddler (“More!” “More!” “Samwich!”) and I to devour. The only issue was that the cookie cutter got really hot really fast, so if you’re planning to try this as an activity with kids I’d highly recommend only using cutters with handles.

This was fun! Next time I’ll have to figure out how to add on some little faces…this could turn into a whole new level of panini “happiness”. 🙂

Panini Pops

Panini Pops


Panini Pops

Recipe by Kathy Strahs,

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 8 minutes | Total time: 23 minutes

Yield: 8 pops


  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 8 slices rustic white bread, sliced from a dense bakery loaf
  • 1/2 pound semi-firm cheese (e.g., cheddar, Colby or Swiss), shredded
  • 1/4 cup finely crumbled or minced mix-ins (e.g., bacon, herbs, peppers), optional
  • 8 lollipop sticks
  • 2-inch cookie cutters


  1. Heat the panini maker to medium-high heat.
  2. Combine the cheese and your mix-ins in a medium bowl.
  3. Prepare four sandwiches to cut into pops. For each sandwich: Spread butter on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over one slice and top the other side with a generous amount of cheese to ensure there will be enough to hold the lollipop sticks in place (plus any mix-ins you might be using). Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, buttered side up.
  4. Grill the panini, two at a time, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Transfer the panini to a cutting board and immediately cut out shapes with cookie cutters (NOTE: If you’re using a metal cutter it will get HOT very quickly, so take care not to burn your fingers) and insert the lollipop sticks. You’ll want to get the sticks in there as soon as possible, while the cheese is still hot and soft. Once the cheese cools for a minute or two it should firm up and hold the sticks in place.

* Depending on the cookie cutter shape you use you may wind up with lots of grilled cheese scraps while making these pops. You can either just eat them or perhaps you’ll turn them into grilled cheese croutons – see my recipes for Grilled Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons and Grilled Cheese Panzanella Salad.



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Sandie wrote:

    Kathy…YOU ROCK!

    How cute are these, you panini-rella! Bakerella does the cutest things, and it’s fun to see your panini-inspired ideas (love the heart-shaped cutouts). Panini-on-a-stick sandwiches would be great to serve at our block-party potlucks—I just know they would be a HUGE hit!
    .-= Sandie ´s last blog ..Fix It Fast, From Scratch! (Recipe: Williams-Sonoma Blueberry Muffins) =-.

    Posted 8.12.09 Reply
  2. Nice. I saw the pie pops and am doing that for an event later this month. Love pops!

    Posted 8.12.09 Reply
  3. sara wrote:

    Adorable! These look awesome. 🙂
    .-= sara´s last blog ..BBA Challenge: Ciabatta, Cinnamon Buns, Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Cornbread =-.

    Posted 8.12.09 Reply
  4. Cute, cute, cute! My grandkids will love these.
    .-= Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)´s last blog ..Fish sauce (Recipe: Thai beef salad) =-.

    Posted 8.12.09 Reply
  5. HappyTummy wrote:

    terribly cute! i just wrote a post on how mini-anything is all the rage right now. never thought about sandwiches! love the pops.
    .-= HappyTummy´s last blog ..Tuesdays with Dorie: Brownie Buttons =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  6. Ha! Adorable! Those would be so fun for a party!
    .-= Sara @ Our Best Bites´s last blog ..Grilled Stuffed Zucchini =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  7. grace wrote:

    aren’t you clever! i always say that food on a stick is infinitely more appealing than any other, and this is no exception! bravo!
    .-= grace´s last blog ..row, row, row your boat =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  8. Kristen wrote:

    If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times… you are one brilliant chick 🙂 LOVE these!
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Impressing the In-Laws (Recipe – Oven Ham Sammies) =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  9. Maris wrote:

    Why are you SO CUTE!? I love these!! And I WOULD but I don’t have kids to make them for. My 26 year old friends and I would probably devour them all the same 🙂
    .-= Maris´s last blog ..To the East side =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  10. nancy wrote:

    sooooooooo cute! will try that for sure.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  11. Mags wrote:

    Talk about boundless creativity! Bakerella’s got nothing on you girl. Those are adorable.
    .-= Mags´s last blog ..Italian Bread (Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge) =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  12. amanda wrote:

    these are super cute!
    .-= amanda´s last blog ..Cheesecake Brownies =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  13. Laura wrote:

    OMG – I have been a secret admirer of yours for quite some time, but this, this, well, I bow down at your feet!

    I love the creativity you put into the paninis you create, it fits very well into my own ideas of being thrifty but enjoy those luxurious ingredients… the beauty of them is that you only need a little bit for a huge impact.

    Great stuff

    – Laura
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Blog-Adoration =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  14. These are great! I posted a link on my edible crafts column at (
    .-= Meaghan (chic cookies)´s last blog ..this cookie is movin’ on up =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  15. Holly wrote:

    Awesome. I’m going to make these for my boys soon.
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..The stingy monster tore apart the angelic fellow, or Mini fruit tarts. =-.

    Posted 8.13.09 Reply
  16. So pretty! Love the grill marks!
    .-= veggie wedgie´s last blog ..Fruity Green Smoothie and Greek Bananas(Yay!) =-.

    Posted 8.14.09 Reply
  17. Veronica wrote:

    .-= Veronica´s last blog ..Slush med uvanlige smaker =-.

    Posted 8.14.09 Reply
  18. Olga wrote:

    Adorable!!!! Would be great for a cocktail party.
    .-= Olga´s last blog ..Daring Cooks: Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes =-.

    Posted 8.14.09 Reply
  19. Heidi wrote:

    What an awesome idea! I love all these mini things people are making nowadays.
    .-= Heidi´s last blog ..On lemon macarons and macaron-less adventures in Paris =-.

    Posted 8.14.09 Reply
  20. What a super cute idea!!!!
    .-= Jen @ MaplenCornbread´s last blog ..Latticed Southern Peach Pie =-.

    Posted 8.14.09 Reply
  21. smita wrote:

    Amazing!!!! Great for kids parties.
    .-= smita´s last blog .. =-.

    Posted 8.14.09 Reply
  22. Brenda T. wrote:

    How totally fun! I’m thinking these would be super cute to serve at a baby shower I’m co-hosting next month. And I’ll be heading over to Bakerella to check for more ideas for “miniaturizing”–get it? The baby (who is small) needs to have “small” snacks! Great idea!
    .-= Brenda T.´s last blog ..What’s On Your (Meal Planning) Mind? =-.

    Posted 8.14.09 Reply
  23. lo wrote:

    Oh, wow — these are just adorable.
    And sammiches on a stick — who can resist? (of course this is coming from the girl who just indulged in “everything” on a stick at the state fair… :))
    .-= lo´s last blog ..Wisconsin State Fair: FOOD =-.

    Posted 8.17.09 Reply
  24. soooo cute! I’ll bet your little girl loved these things. The problem… you’ll never be able to make ‘normal’ grilled cheese sandwiches ever again 🙂
    .-= Lori @ RecipeGirl´s last blog ..Browned Butter Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies =-.

    Posted 8.17.09 Reply
  25. Mindy wrote:

    Awesome! I need to break my panini maker back out now that we’re home…my daughter would love these!
    .-= Mindy´s last blog ..Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes! =-.

    Posted 8.17.09 Reply
  26. RobinSue wrote:

    And it is the best part of the sandwich – the inside soft gooey part! Very cute!
    .-= RobinSue´s last blog ..Restaurant Depot =-.

    Posted 8.18.09 Reply
  27. Sagan wrote:

    This is a fantastic idea! So cute. They would make for great little appetizers. I love the pie-pops too.
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Guest Post: Handing in my stripes =-.

    Posted 8.19.09 Reply
  28. very cute
    .-= The Food Hunter´s last blog ..My Secret Obsession with Bread Making =-.

    Posted 8.24.09 Reply
  29. Nicisme wrote:

    So cute!

    Posted 8.25.09 Reply
  30. Ann Claire wrote:

    These are adorable. I love ’em!

    Posted 6.6.11 Reply