Price: $7.99    Score: 9/10    Category: Lifestyle

Martha Stewart Makes Cookies is a cookie making app that delivers about 50 cookie recipes in a clean, concise, and easy to understand manner. The Martha Stewart brand is all over this next generation rendition of the cookie recipe book, and that’s a good thing.

When you open the app for the first time, Martha Stewart fills the screen with her casual, comforting tone. She says a few words via video about how fitting her cookie recipes are for the iPad, and then gives a few tips for how the whole operation runs.

From there on out you’re on your own, except for, of course, when it comes to Martha Stewart’s actual recipes, packaging suggestions, timer, and more. In some ways you could say that the hardest part of the whole process is picking which cookies to make.

The app’s main navigation exists as a ribbon in the top left corner of the app. When you want to use it, you tap to bring a drop down menu that lets you navigate through the app’s search, shopping list, videos, tools, timer, sharing credentials, credits, and help and info.

Everything is straightforward and easy to use, but where you’ll really want to spend your time is with the screen that Martha Stewart refers to as the “cookie runway.” This scrollable visual display shows an example of every cookie you can make on a clean white background. The treats are classified for traditionalists, little ones, grown-ups, those far away, those near and dear, health conscious, and hedonists.

To get to any specific recipe you click on the cookie. The instructions themselves are clean and warm. If you’re partial to the beautiful layouts of magazine style recipes, the aesthetic beauty of designing on the printed page is not lost here.

When it comes to what you can actually make, Martha Stewart Cookies delivers exactly what you might expect. Everything I made was tasty as can be, but simple to make and a little fancier than my back of the chocolate chip bag standby.

What makes this app stand out as a next generation recipe book are the extra functions. Martha Stewart never fails to deliver a suggestion (accompanied with instructions) on how you can deliver the cookies in an appealing DIY packaging, and the instructions are simple but fun.

You can also tag recipes you like with a heart, automatically add your cookie ingredients to your grocery list, add notes via a button on the upper part of the recipe, click to play videos embedded in specific parts of the instructions, and start an in app timer that automatically sets itself for the recommended baking time. When the timer goes off, it squeals like a classic, high pitched timer loud enough that you probably won’t miss the right time to bring the cookies out to cool.

Everything about this app is clear, concise and smooth. The ribbon navigation on the left is great for getting video on demand, viewing, editing, and emailing your shopping list, starting the timer for a custom time, and searching for cookies in a beautiful wheel-based search that lets you choose between types of cookies and then narrow down your choices by ingredients.

This overall search layout that puts everything at your fingertips is absolutely beautiful. I could see this working for absolutely every recipe, and would eventually love to have the option to buy more recipes as an in app purchase. Each type of item could have it’s own “runway,” and the pinwheel search could let you find everything quickly based on what you’re craving.

All it stands, the favorites, timer, on demand video and notes features, when added to the overall ceremonious nature of having Martha Stewart Makes Cookies, are what gives the app its edge over your classic paper recipe.

As long as you can keep the ingredients off the iPad this is an excellent app for Martha Stewart fans or anyone with the desire to settle into cookie baking marathons as the weather settles into winter.

Bottom Line: Martha Stewart Cookies is a clean and well functioning app that teaches you how to make about 50 cookies. It’s Martha Stewart in every possible way. Clean, creative, complete, and sure to impress the neighbors.