I would like to introduce you to the Sandwich of the Future. This is the Handwich, which is a cone-shaped piece of bread with a few different sandwich-filling options. The Handwich was available at Walt Disney parks from 1988 to some point in the mid-1990s. Today we’re going to make some at home.
According to Inside the Magic, the Handwich originally came in four varieties. The marketing materials list ham and cheese, pulled BBQ chicken, roast beef and cheddar, and tuna salad as the original filling options but it appears that a few other variations have appeared over the years.
At some point in the middle of the 90s, Disney quietly stopped selling Handwiches but they have shown up from time to time at special Disney events. For example in 2017 at Epcot’s 35th anniversary celebration Handwiches returned for the event.
It seems to me that recreating the Disney Handwich at home is less about the fillings and mostly focused on the bread cone itself. I’m not saying that the fillings are an afterthought, I just think you could basically stuff one of these cones with pretty much anything. So that’s what I did. I set out to make my own cone of baked bread and then I went in a few directions with different internal Handwich options.
Handwich in the Disney Cookbook…. Please tell me Kevin knew it was in there.
by u/TimericaKepris in Defunctland
It appears that a version of this recipe is in one of the official Disney cookbooks. You can click through to this Reddit thread to see a good photo of the whole recipe. My recipe is different.
Let’s make Handwich cones
This part is much less complicated than you might think. To make the process super easy for the non-bakers in the bunch, I used store-bought pizza dough for the cones that I made. You could make your own dough for this situation but it’s just so easy to use pizza dough from the tube because it’s already shaped in a big rectangle, it’s already rolled out, and it’s pretty much the perfect thickness.
In all my tests, I was able to take a square piece of aluminum foil and fold it over on the long side. Then I found the center point of the fold and wrapped it into a cone, attempting to have at least a 2.5-inch-wide hole at the top. Once the cone is formed, you need to make sure that the wide, open part of the cone is mostly flat because you’re going to wrap it in dough and bake the cones standing straight up on your baking pan. So, it is important that the wide part of the cone is level. You can easily test this by standing it up on the counter after you form the cone and bend the aluminum to adjust if needed.
Note: one Pillsbury brand pizza crust tube is around 14 ounces, or 390 grams of dough and it rolls out to be roughly a 9 x 13-inch rectangle that is a bit less than a quarter of an inch thick. I found that this is enough dough to make four dough cones for Handwiches. If you want to recreate this with your own homemade dough or another brand of dough these are the important specs.
Aluminum foil cone
The aluminum foil cone is the structure that holds your dough upright and in a cone shape while it bakes. Some recipes I’ve seen for this sort of dough cone require a paper cone wrapped inside of the aluminum foil, but I have found that the foil, when folded in half and rolled into a cone is strong enough to stand up and support itself.
Here’s a quick slideshow of how I form the foil cones. My recipe bakes these cones standing straight up. I have seen some recipes bake them on their side, but that means one side of the cone will end up baking harder and being darker in color because it will be laying on the sheet pan. I just think it’s better to bake them standing up.
This is a pretty easy process. But it’s also easy to do it sloppily and there are things that you should be aware of before starting. First off, you need to put effort into pinching the strands of dough together where ends meet.
When you wrap the cone, if you run out of dough and need to add more strips, just make sure you do a really good job of pinching the two strips together so that they do not separate during the baking process. Also: double-check that you have sealed the tip of the cone very well. You can see in the photo below I did not focus on pinching off the cone tips.
The last thing to cover when making Handwich cones is that they get an egg wash right before baking. This helps give them a nice brown color and a bit of a shiny crust.
Handwich cone recipe
If you want to make your own Handwich cones, I have the details and instructions in both Handwich recipes down below.
Sweet sriracha sauce chicken tender Handwich
This was the beta version of my Handwich. I made a test batch of Handwich cones to verify that one piece of aluminum by itself would be enough to keep a cone of rolled dough upright. When it turned out that my first batch was passable with just a few flaws, I grabbed some store-bought chicken tenders from the deli section of my grocery store. I then heated the tenders up in the oven and tossed them in a super easy-to-whip-up sweet and spicy sriracha sauce and topped it with a bit of blue cheese dressing from the fridge.
The only takeaway from this was that it was a success and there are probably as many combinations of fillings for a Handwich as there are fillings for a sandwich.
There’s technically not a recipe for this
sandwich Handwich since I did not make the chicken tender or the blue cheese, but I do suggest this sauce for your next chicken wing or sauced chicken tender night.
Pimento cheese and onion brat Handwich
Next, I decided to shove a brat and grilled onions into a Handwich cone since it’s summer. I wrote about a pimento cheese, onion and brat combination almost a year ago today in my leftover cookout crunchwrap post. It’s a good combo and I’m using it again in this Handwich. First, we need some pimento cheese.
This is my mom’s recipe, and it brings back memories of summer sandwiches and beach trips, double-fisting half of a homegrown tomato sandwich and half of a pimento cheese sandwich.
If you do decide to make this recipe, just make sure you buy some Bugles if you can find them. They’re undeniably my favorite way of consuming pimento cheese.
Grilled brat and grilled onions
Grilled brats and onions just scream summer to me. I “grilled” these on my stove because it was a quick weekday lunch, but brats are best grilled outdoors where you can also look at nature and think about your life.
Basically, for this application, the brat simply needs to be cooked all the way through and the onions should be softened, but not cooked so long that they turn to mush.
Then you stuff the Handwich cone with alternating layers of onions and pimento cheese alongside the brat.
I honestly felt like this was one of the best applications of the Handwich cone, because the shape of the brat simply works great in a cone once you get started.
Simple barbecue sauced chicken and slaw Handwich
This isn’t smoked, barbecue chicken. It’s simply rotisserie chicken that I pulled off the bone and warmed it up on the stove with a few tablespoons of homemade barbecue sauce. I also garnished this Handwich with some of the rotisserie chicken skin that I baked in the oven until crispy.
I’ve also written about crispy chicken skin, but if you’ve never tried it, next time you buy a rotisserie chicken, save the skin and you can bake it at 400 F (205 C) for around 15 minutes until it starts to get a bit crispy.
The Handwich cones also cook at 400 F for around 20 minutes so you could tackle both the dough cones and chicken skin at the same time if you wanted.
My barbecue sauce recipe is directly below if you ever want to give it a shot.
And here’s the coleslaw recipe if you want to recreate the whole Handwich like I did.
Based on a sandwich concept from Disney World, this is the sandwich of the future. It's barbecue sauced chicken and slaw inside of a cone of dough that you can enjoy with one hand.
- 1 tube of store-bought pizza dough (or homemade dough)
- non-stick spray
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- rotisserie chicken skin (optional)
- 2 to 3 cups rotisserie chicken
- barbecue sauce
- 4 Handwich cones (from above)
- 1 cup coleslaw
Handwich cone: fold a square of aluminum foil in half. Starting from one corner of the folded side, roll the aluminum foil into a cone shape. Make sure your cone is at least 2 inches at the widest point. Crimp the wide, open part of the cone so that it is flat and make sure the cone can stand up straight on the widest part of the cone. For more information about making the cone, you can read the tips on this Handwich blog post.
Once you have four aluminum foil cones created, spray them with non-stick spray.
Pre-heat oven to 400 F (230 C).
Open your pizza dough and unroll it. If you're using homemade dough or other dough, roll it out to around a quarter-inch thick in a 9 x 13-inch rectangle.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut strips about 1/2-inch wide and 13-inches long. Starting at the bottom, pointy end of an aluminum cone start wrapping your dough strips around the cone, slightly overlapping. One strip will not be enough to fully cover your cone, so you will have to add additional strips. When you do add more strips, make sure you really pinch them together well so that they do not separate during baking.
Once the cone is fully covered in spiral dough, stand the cone up on a parchment lined sheet pan. Continue until all four cones are covered in dough.
In a small bowl, whisk one egg and 1 tablespoon of water into an egg wash. Paint the egg wash with a brush or spoon over each cone of dough.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees halfway through the cooking process to encourage even baking.
Crispy chicken skin: in the same 400-degree F oven, add chicken skin to a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Once the skin is hardened and crispy, remove it to a paper towel lined plate to cool.
Sandwich assembly: add the pulled rotisserie chicken to a pan or skillet over medium heat. Add enough barbecue sauce on top of the chicken to coat. Cook the chicken and sauce for 3 or 4 minutes until everything is warm.
Scoop spoons of chicken and coleslaw to the inside of a Handwich cone until full. Garnish the Handwich with crispy chicken skin.
Serve and enjoy.
Check back next week for a real sandwich
Or at least a sandwich that I made up but it won’t be in a cone.