Thanksgiving dinner is all well and good, but it's the leftovers we live for. Cold turkey on white bread with a little S&P or a turkey potpie: our love for turkey is only out-shined by our obsession with turkey recreations.
If you need proof of that truth, look no further than the latest ingenious use of turkey fixings, Zucker Bakery's Thanksgivukkah doughnut. The Alphabet City bakery churns out three savory-sweet takes for the Thanksgiving-Hannukah season (which overlap this year): Turkey Cranberry, Turkey Gravy, and Cranberry. It's the kind of thing you hope will be incredible—because, turkey stuffed in donuts!—but can't deliver on its creative promises. The dough, which was pumpkin-spiced, was mostly bland and very dense, and we wouldn't have guessed its flavor has the kind man at the counter not told us. The fillings, too, left something to be desired. The cranberry filling was fresh and hearty (with actual cranberries visible!) but very tart, and made a strange filling for the zepole-like donut. The turkey cranberry was much of the same, save for the addition of a seemingly unseasoned dollop of shredded turkey. Savory and sweet can be awesome, but there's a balance that needs to be struck between the two, and the turkey gravy doughnut failed for this reason. The star of the bunch was the sweet potato and toasted marshmallow doughnut, which the gentleman at the counter gave us just because. Clearly, he knew something we didn't: this doughnut was a gem. The sweet potato made for a fluffier, just-sweet-enough dough, and the toasted marshmallow was all s'mores goodness. Its deliciousness is the reason it is not pictured: it was consumed too quickly.
In the other side of the ring, we have the longstanding (OK, since 2011) Thanksgiving classic:
Momofuku Milk Bar
Momofuku Milk Bar's Thanksgiving croissant. This is not simply a croissant filled with Thanksgiving fixings. Rather, the croissant has the turkey, stuffing, and cranberry actually baked into the pastry shell. Complex photographer Liz Barclay commented that it was like a "high-end hot pocket" and that pretty much nails it. It's not the most attractive treat, surely. And, the crust was less-than-flaky and croissant-like. In fact, it had the density of a calzone. But, have mercy, was that turkey perfect. The light and dark slivers of roasted turkey were heavy on the Thanksgiving herbs, and the carb shell, while greasy, was ridiculously delicious. The cranberry was barely visible save for a pink smear, and provided a subtle sweetness. And, while there is no stuffing, the dough itself is laced with celery salt, which provides a stuffing flavor that could fool the best of us.
The verdict? Thanksgiving croissant, FTW! On a side note, can someone please stick an entire turkey inside a carbohydrate shell next year?