The cornucopia, a symbol of abundance and nourishment used to grace many a Thanksgiving table but seems to have fallen on hard times these days. Be it made of bread, woven wicker or something a little more modern, it was always the centerpiece of my childhood Thanksgiving table. My mom and I used to make one every year, so in honor of her holiday table, I thought I’d recreate the cornucopia for my own holiday table.
I perused Pinterest for a few design inspirations then gathered my supplies, which couldn’t be simpler and are probably floating around most of your kitchens already.
Pre-made pizza dough (bread dough, breadstick dough and fresh pizza dough will also work well)
Lots and lots of tinfoil (heavy duty preferred but regular works just fine)
1-2 eggs beaten for an eggwash
A rolling pin, a pastry brush and a pizza cutter
Oven set at 350 degrees
Making the cornucopia is really simple and the whole process took about 30 minutes. Begin by forming your mold out of tinfoil. Make it as large or as small as you want your cornucopia to be. You can make one very large cornucopia, several small ones or even individual one to use a placecard holders at your table. I started off by making a small, medium and large tinfoil ball, sticking them together and then wrapping around and around until I reached the desired size. Don’t forget to end by giving the tail a traditional curve.
Next, roll out your dough to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut into long strips 2-3 inches wide and begin to layer them over your tinfoil. Use the egg wash as a glue and overlap each strip by about ½ inch. Secure on the bottom by squeezing the ends of each strip together.
Once the entire mold is wrapped, use any leftover dough or scraps to create decorative braids, leaves, flowers or fruits. Glue these on using the egg wash.
I added a little sprinkle of dried herbs to the opening for a decorative touch. Coat the entire cornucopia in a layer of egg wash and pop in a 350 degree oven to bake for 30-45 minutes until the entire shell is golden brown. The inside will remain pale.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Gently pull out tinfoil and fill with bread, fruits, nuts, cheeses, flowers or any other festive goodies.
The cornucopia makes a great centerpiece for any holiday table! Mine is so pretty that I’m going to shellac it and use it as my Christmas bread basket.
Learn more about holiday breads and bread baking at The Chopping Block's December 11th Homemade Breads For the Holiday Table class and learn more about fun and festive holiday treats at our December 10th Holiday Confections class or our Christmas Eve Fun ‘n’ Fancy Holiday Cookies class!