More than just pizza: Alternate uses for pizza stones

Cookies 04

Despite the name, pizza stones aren’t just for pizza. Really, a more accurate name for them would be baking stones, since just about anything that you bake can be made on a stone with delicious results. Here at the pizzacraft office, we decided to put that to the test in our own kitchen. After all, a little something sweet was just what we wanted after nonstop pizza!

On the dessert menu were snickerdoodle cookies and an apple-persimmon galette (which we’ll feature in an upcoming post!). Snickerdoodles are “refrigerator cookies,” so they require a little ahead-of-time work before you can start baking.

Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • (1/2 teaspoon lemon extract – Simone’s ingenious addition)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and lemon extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in the remaining flour. Cover and chill one hour.

After patiently waiting (and resisting eating spoonfuls of dough from the bowl), the dough was ready for scooping, shaping, and baking. With our baking stone already on the lower rack, we set the oven to 375º to preheat.

Cookies 01

We spooned out 1 tablespoon hunks of dough, rolled them into balls, and rolled them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar to coat.

Cookies 02

With the baking stone pre-heated, we placed the dough balls directly onto the stone. This particular 15″ square cordierite stone is a lot larger than your average cookie sheet, so we were able to fit more cookies onto it in one go. After about 8 minutes, they were perfectly golden-brown.

Cookies 03

We removed the cookies one at a time with our pizzacraft slice server (which clearly is also not just for pizza!) and transferred them to a plate. I’ll admit that it was a bit more work to remove the cookies from the stone before we could put on more cookie dough, but keeping the stone hot in the oven noticeably reduced our baking time, so we came out even.

Baking dessert on a pizza stone is an even bigger time-saver if you’re already making a pizza for dinner. It’s easy to keep the stone hot (although because pizza cooking temperatures are pretty high, you’ll probably want to turn the heat down a bit once your pizza’s done), and just throw cookies or other pastries onto the stone to cook while your friends and family are digging into their slices.

Cookies and pizza are a perfect dinner/dessert combo, especially for a casual gathering like a movie night. We’re not even the first to think of it… although I think I’d rather eat fresh pizza and cookies, not frozen!

Cookies 04I rest my case.

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