Hanky Pankies – An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake

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This Hanky Pankies appetizer is also known as an old fashioned Polish Mistake. These handheld crunchy treats are made with ground beef, ground sausage and Velveeta and served on cocktail toast slices.

Hanky Pankies – An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake Recipe

Have you ever heard of Hanky Panky?

No, not that type of hanky panky. This is the food Hanky Panky.  How about Polish Mistakes or Polish Disasters?  Ever heard of those?

If not, then you’ve got to make this recipe ASAP.

Hanky Pankies, Polish Mistakes and Polish Disasters are three names for the same recipe.  Some people even call these Shit on a Shingle, no joke.  These people have a point because it does resemble just that.  But no worries, it tastes nothing of the sort.

Hanky Panky Food

Hanky Pankies are a tasty little treat, appetizer, hor d’oeuvres, or even main dish.  It consists of a cocktail bread, either pumpernickel or rye bread typically topped with a cheesy, meat mixture.

The meat mixture combines ground beef and ground sausage.  The original recipe from my 1993 First Christian Church Cook Book calls for hot sausage; however, my family doesn’t like a lot of heat, so I went with the medium flavored ground sausage.

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Hanky Pankies Appetizers

Our mom has a good friend, Sue, who makes and serves these when they are snow birding down in Florida for the winter. Appetizers are always a great choice when you are vacationing on the beach as you can make up a few and serve them on the patio while enjoying your ocean view.

When thinking about what appetizers to serve for an easy evening beach meal or during happy hour, it is nice to have a hot option – like these Polish Mistakes – as well as some cold options like BLT Dip with veggies or our favorite, shrimp cocktail!

Hanky Pankies Ingredient List

What’s in a hanky panky? Seven easy ingredients – six of which you probably already have on hand!

Ground Beef

Ground Sausage (mild, medium or hot, your preference)

Velveeta (or generic cheese melt)

Garlic Powder

Worcestershire Sauce

Dried Oregano (optional)

Cocktail Bread (pumpernickel or rye bread)

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How to make Hanky Panky appetizer:

For the full ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  1. Brown ground beef and ground sausage; drain excess grease, if needed.
  2. To the skillet, add diced Velveeta, garlic powder, Worcestershire Sauce and dried oregano (optional).
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring until the cheese is melted.
  4. Arrange cocktail bread on a large sheet pan.
  5. Top each bread slice with 1 tablespoon of hanky panky sausage mixture.
  6. To serve immediately, bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Optional: place sheet pan in freezer, and allow the hanky pankies to freeze. Once frozen, put in a large resealable plastic bag and return to the freezer. When ready to serve, pull out as many as you need, and bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 12 minutes or until heated through.

Notes About Hanky Pankies – An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake:

  • If you like spicy food, use hot ground sausage, or if you do not like any heat at all, use mild ground sausage.
  • Add dried oregano only if you want to.
  • A small cookie scoop works great scoop the meat mixture onto the cocktail bread.
  • These Polish Mistakes can be eaten right away or can be frozen for later use.
    • To freeze, top each cocktail bread slice with meat mixture. Place sheet pan in the freezer until each polish disaster is frozen. Place in an air-tight zip-lock bag and store in the freezer.
    • Pull out the desired amount of appetizers, place frozen on a sheet pan. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 12 minutes or until heated through.
  • Try serving these with a bowl of soup in the winter for the perfect meal.

What is cocktail bread?

Cocktail bread is a mini sized loaf of bread, usually rye bread or pumpernickel bread.  Its mini shape and size make it perfect for appetizer and cocktail recipes. Here’s a link to a frozen rye version on Amazon (affiliate link).

Where to buy cocktail bread?

Check the bakery section of your local grocery store or supermarket to find cocktail bread. It is typically found on the specialty displays within the bakery department.

What is a substitute for cocktail bread?

If you can’t find cocktail bread at the grocery store, buy a baguette or French loaf, and cut it into thin, bite-sized slices.  Or, look for pre-cut bruschetta bread which would also work as a substitute for cocktail bread.

How long do you bake polish mistakes?

In a preheated 400 degree oven, bake the polish mistakes for 10 minutes or until golden brown and hot.  If the polish mistakes are frozen, add an additional 2 minutes to the cooking time. Either way you cook them, be sure you watch as oven temperatures vary. You just want them heated through and golden on top.

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Linking up to Weekend Potluck.

Hanky Pankies - An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake are a tasty appetizer made with ground beef, ground sausage and  Velveeta.  
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Hanky Pankies - An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hanky pankies, hanky panky, hanky panky appetizers, hanky panky food, polish disasters, polish mistakes
Servings: 50 appetizers
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 pound Velveeta
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
  • 1 package cocktail bread

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef and ground sausage in a large skillet; drain excess grease if needed.
    Hanky Pankies - An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake are a tasty appetizer made with ground beef, ground sausage and  Velveeta.  
  • Add diced Velveeta, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and oregano (optional), and cook on low, stirring until cheese is melted.
    Hanky Pankies - An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake are a tasty appetizer made with ground beef, ground sausage and  Velveeta.  
  • Arrange cocktail bread on a large sheet pan.
    Hanky Pankies - An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake are a tasty appetizer made with ground beef, ground sausage and  Velveeta.  
  • Top each slice with 1 tablespoon of meat mixture.
    Hanky Pankies - An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake are a tasty appetizer made with ground beef, ground sausage and  Velveeta.  
  • Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown and hot.
    Hanky Pankies - An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake are a tasty appetizer made with ground beef, ground sausage and  Velveeta.  
  • See notes for freezing instructions.
    Hanky Pankies - An Old Fashioned Polish Mistake are a tasty appetizer made with ground beef, ground sausage and  Velveeta.  

Notes

  • Try serving these with a bowl of soup in the winter for the perfect meal. 
  • If you like spicy food, use hot ground sausage, or if you do not like any heat at all, use mild ground sausage.
  • The addition of dried oregano is completely optional in this recipe. 
  • A small cookie scoop works great scoop the meat mixture onto the cocktail bread. 
  • These Polish Mistakes can be eaten right away or can be frozen for later use.
    • To freeze, top each cocktail bread slice with meat mixture. Place sheet pan in the freezer until each polish disaster is frozen. Place in an air-tight resealable bag and store in the freezer. 
    • Pull out the desired amount of appetizers, place frozen on a sheet pan. Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 12 minutes or until heated through. 

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5 Comments

  1. OMGOSH my mom used to make these for parties but would double the recipe and freeze half of them. She worked late so we would heat a few frozen ones in the toaster oven for an after school snack when we got home. I can’t wait to make these!!! My mom’s recipes got lost when she had to move into a memory care facility and I miss having them and especially miss being able to ask her about recipes since she has dementia. Thank you!!

  2. My family usually likes to put a slice of tomato on the top of each slice just before eating. Tonight my 5 year old grandson requested a slice of cucumber on his. Cucumber just might be my new favorite addition!

  3. It’s been a long time since I’ve had these. Yes, my mom made them for parties. I was at Jewel (grocery store) and an older ladies said that she was making sausage, ground beef and velveta and I responded, on mini ryes and yes, exactly. I am taking a ladies weekend next week up in Wisconsin in making them so we have munchies. Nice to see the tradition is carrying on.

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