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Gadgets: Pizza Stick Pan from Williams-Sonoma

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[Photographs: Williams-Sonoma]

All the pizza talk around here has really intensified now that the Super Bowl is coming, and I'm jumping in full force. Though I'm sure most of you know the benefits of using pizza stones for your homemade crusts (they suck out moisture giving you that awesome crunchy browning), I wanted to try a rather unconventional approach. Williams-Sonoma makes this crazy pizza stick pan ($24.99). Would it work well without a ceramic base or coating?

I made my dough and used the provided cutter to get it into the right shapes. This part worked like a charm—the edges aren't sharp so there's no danger in handing it to the kids, but it cuts through the dough with ease. Some sauce and toppings later, my pizza sticks went into the oven.

The results were mixed. The added surface area should have cooked my dough faster, but it took a few extra minutes to get it all done. When the sticks were done, they slid out of the trays easily. My dough was sturdy enough to hold a large number of toppings, and it wasn't soggy, but my fears were right on point—The sticks were not crisp.

Serious pizza lovers: This one might not be for you.

But as I thought about the quirky shape and its nonpizza applications, I had some ideas that may redeem it. First, I tried a graham cracker crust topped with marshmallows and chocolate—success! And garlic bread (or homemade hoagie rolls) might be other options for the cutter and wells here. Sure, these aren't exactly kitchen essentials, but the functions aren't limited to just one.

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