Cookies are delicious, and whether you love her or hate her, Martha Stewart is one of the few with the means to turn a love of cookies into a really gorgeous and full-featured cooking app. Although this app was released before the Christmas cookie rush back in November, Callaway Digital Arts and Martha Stewart Living have teamed up to give the app a massive overhaul and update just in time for Valentine’s Day, including secret content to be released on the holiday and a special sale price of $0.99.
While many of the recipes you’ll find in this app are from her similarly titled cookbook, Martha Stewart Makes Cookies is really a digital creation unto itself. With more than 90 mouthwatering recipes, gobs of beautifully photographed baked goods, a whole video library, and handy extras like shopping links and a built-in timer, I was seriously impressed by how complete this little app was.
I don’t own the cookbook, so I can’t really speak to how the app compares there, but I can say that the while the iPhone app likely isn’t quite as readable as the iPad app, it certainly provides a lot of luscious looking cookies for not a lot of dough. You can choose from well-loved standbys, like Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies, or get a trendy with Glitter Balls or adventurous with Peppercorn Shortbread; I even spied a vegan recipe while I was poking around. Diabetics aside, there’s really something for just about everyone in there.
While my beloved Kitchen-Aid, Miss Edna, would tell you that I don’t bake nearly enough as I should, I’m still no slouch in the kitchen, so I think I’m qualified to say that while some of the more impressive looking offerings will require more equipment and fussing than most will want to bother with, there are a number of perfectly scrumptious looking cookies in the app that both novice and master home bakers can approach with ease.
Suffice to say, I was really pleased by how much thought went into making this app both comprehensive and attractive, but there were a couple of features I had some mixed feelings about. The first was the so-called “cookie runway”, where you can browse through a picture line up of all the cookies. It’s a nice idea, but it just struck me as impractical, since you’re effectively gawking at food porn instead of finding actual cookie recipes you’re interested in.
The second thing I wasn’t wild about was the search area. If you know the name of the specific cookie you’re looking for, great, but browsing is another story. They’ve divided everything up into a more or less workable set of categories, but it felt like a few recipes, including stunningly mundane ones, like sugar cookies, didn’t really fit in any of them, so I was left schlepping through the aforementioned “cookie runway” looking for them.
Even with these minor flaws, this is about as smooth and attractive a cooking app as you’re going to find, and regardless of how you feel about Martha’s domestic empire, if you’re a cookie baker or would like to be, this is a fantastic and affordable buy.
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