a refrigerator full of leftovers.
The thought of repeating the same meal day after day makes me grow weary at the thought of another plate of turkey. Luckily, turkey is quite versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Usually, the weekend after Thanksgiving and Black Friday, my family has turkey sandwiches for lunch, an alternative to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers without having the same full-blown feast.
This year, in anticipation of the traditional turkey sandwich lunch, instead of Black Friday shopping, I stayed at home and baked cornucopia-shaped bread rolls with hollows perfect for stuffing with turkey and other sandwich fixings. Cornucopias seem to be the symbols of Thanksgiving, commonly displayed filled to the brim with an abundance of food; for these rolls, the bounty is, of course, our turkey leftovers. I was inspired by the giant bread cornucopia that I baked as a centerpiece last year for Thanksgiving, realizing that mini, individual versions would be perfect for sandwiches.
Cornucopia Bread Rolls
1/2 bread roll recipe (previously posted recipe)
8 small paper cups
Make your bread roll dough, and while you wait for it to rise, prepare your cups. Take a paper cup and wrap it in foil, tucking the foil in along the top brim of the cup and leaving an overhang along the bottom. Twist the foil overhang into a point, forming a cone shape. Then curve it towards the top of the cup, forming your a hook. Repeat with each cup and then spray the foil on each with nonstick spray.
When your dough is done rising, punch it down and divide it into 8 pieces. Take one piece of dough (keeping the others covered) and divide that piece in three. Then roll each piece into long, thin ropes. Starting from the hook, begin to wrap your cornucopia with your dough ropes, covering the foil as your go. Add another dough rope when the first is used up (be sure to pinch the two ropes together so they hold tightly). Repeat for the third rope. Your first cornucopia will be the hardest to make. From this first trial, you will be able figure out just how thin you need to roll your dough so that there's enough to cover the entire cup.
Now place your roll on a parchment lined baking sheet. Be sure that there are no gaps of foil showing through your cornucopia. If your dough isn't sticking together very well, crack open and beat an egg into a bowl. With a pastry brush, brush the egg and use it like glue on the uncooperative spots. Make sure all your dough is sticking together very well, because if not, as it bakes and expands, your doughy cornucopias will fall apart. Now repeat with your other 7 pieces of dough. Once done shaping, add a little bit of water to your leftover egg (if there is no more, crack open another one) to create an egg wash and brush all your rolls. Then place your baking sheet in the oven as indicated in your bread recipe.
When done, take the rolls out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. To serve, gently pull out the foil covered cups from each roll. If the cups are stuck, make a tear in the paper cup pulling off a chunk of the paper cup. Carefully crumple the cup and it should come out more easily. Now prepare slices of turkey with your favorite sandwich fixings. As pictured, there is the common turkey, lettuce, tomato, and pickle sandwich. Or your can stuff the hole with a variety of leftovers from the big feast: turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, topped off with a drizzle of cranberry sauce. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!
Note: 1/2 of the linked bread roll recipe makes 8 cornucopia rolls. The full recipe makes 16. To make a giant cornucopia centerpiece (pictured below), a very similar method can be used. Instead of covering a paper cup with foil, take lots of foil and fashion a giant cone, curving it to make a cornucopia-ish shape. Use the entire recipe's worth of dough to cover this giant foil cone, following the same techniques as for the small rolls. To serve, you can fill the hole with whatever you choose, just let your guest know that the cornucopia is indeed edible and have them peel off small bits of the bread to feast on.