Cookie Doodle looks fun, even at fifty

Spoiler alert! For a children’s app, Cookie Doodle is surprisingly fun, even though I can’t imagine the fascination will last after half-a-dozen cookies. Kids, however, might play with it longer than a bearded reviewer in his fifties. It could very well distract your child even after Halloween.

During a type design class, my teacher assigned a redesign of the Easybake logo to be used with a marketing brochure. I chose to focus on a brochure championing the Easybake for the little man in the house. It was really cute. The cover featured a stock photo of an eight-year-old boy proudly displaying Christmas cookies (they weren’t made with an Easybake, but who believes advertisers actually use their products any more?). I also had a boy in in a wizard outfit eating cookies, and a boy wearing mittens three times as big as his hand. It was loud and colorful and delightfully ironic.

And everybody else protested because the brochure was gay. Which it was, but there’s pejorative “gay,” which it wasn’t, and a celebration of gay. And it wasn’t that either. Nonetheless, I had to scrap the brochure and start over.

I found myself in one of those weird moments when both conservatives and liberals became united in their ignorance and misunderstanding. You see the liberal women in the class thought the brochure was offensive to gays and lesbians. None of them actually had any gay and lesbian friends, but they knew for sure that gays and lesbians would be offended. The conservative women though it was promoting a gay agenda, and that would lead to all kinds of bad things.

Here’s the problem with knee-jerk politics of any kind. There is nothing more sexist and homophobic than leaping to the conclusion that a little boy who likes to bake must be gay (or be portrayed as gay). There is a big difference between assuming that a boy who bakes must be gay and drawing a conclusion like “a President who can’t pronounce ‘nuclear’ is ignorant.”1

I mistakenly assumed that the fact that liberal women at least would recognize the entire brochure was a parody of gender stereotyping. Sadly, it seems too many liberals put little more thought into their convictions than the conservatives they criticize. And, conservatives aren’t ignorant because they’re conservative. They’re just sadly mistaken.

A boy isn’t gay because he likes show tunes, he’s gay because he’s gay. I love show tunes. I love most of the movies gay men love. I don’t want to walk around beating the crap out of anyone who offends me. But I’m not gay.

On the other side of the fence, I have close gay friends who hate show tunes, wear conservative suits, and vote Republican. My friends have gay friends who cruise biker bars, snort meth and like to beat the crap out of people. But they’re not straight. They’re just maladjusted and misguided, and maybe a little scary. And they’re every bit as gay as the ones who like show tunes.

But I still did a boring and politically correct brochure marketing ovens for girls, got my A, and chalked it up to the irony of preferring to think through my politics rather than just wear them on my lapel like an American Flag. The liberal American flag, the one with the peace sign instead of the stars, but you get my point.

Digital Easybake for girls. And boys

I recalled my little faux pas while I fiddled with Cookie Doodle for this review.2 The app actually brought out the inner boy who likes to bake. I was surprised at how quickly it pierced my cynical reviewer’s shell.

Now that I’ve played with it, I doubt it’s really a Halloween app. It was simply listed as a Halloween app in the App Store because you can use Halloween shaped cooke cutters. Cookie Doodle also features Christmas cookie cutters, which means I can review this again in a couple of months and hope nobody actually reads this blog seriously enough to notice.

Or maybe I can copy and paste the review part and add a different introduction. Something heartwarming about the importance of the smell of cookies in the oven to the experience of Christmas.

That’s what I think I’ll do. If you pay attention, you may even figure it out.

From recipe to oven

The joy of Cookie Doodle is that you can take the Easybake route and just use the app’s pre-made dough mix, or you can mix the dough from scratch. Pre-packaged doughs include mint and cookies and cream. Scratch doughs include sugar cookie, chocolate and pumpkin (hence the Halloween connection).

You can even make dough from photographs. So if you think the app is a little too childish, you can add your own R rating to the dough. I don’t advocate this, mind you. But you get the picture.

This isn’t the photo I would choose for the dough,
but I thought I’d get less flack from Carol if I used Tom Selleck
instead of Yvonne Strahovski or Anna Torv or the other Aussie blondes I watch TV to ogle.3

The real fun of the app is mixing the dough. You really have to follow the recipe—adding flour and sugar, shaking the salt, pouring the vanilla. The developers, Shoe The Goose, really pay attention to the details. You have to shake the iPad to add the salt, and tip to pour the vanilla.

Cookie Doodle emulates the motions of baking.

Once you have the ingredients in the bowl, you still need to stir the mix. The game animation even simulates the ingredient mixing while you drag your finger to stir.

It’s just an animation, but there’s a certain kitsch to stirring the dough.

A screen shot is worth 256 words

Once you finish with the dough, Cookie Doodle even provides its own version of the Easybake oven to bake the cookie. You can frost and decorate the cookies, store them in a cookie jar and even eat them. But you know what? I think the screen shots will say it better than I do.

How about a little roller action?

The little blue oven goes huff and puff.

The app provides an assortment cookie cutters.

Frost them, decorate them.
Serve them and eat them.

I can’t swear that your kids will love it, but the kid in me loves it, and I was a little boy who loved to make cookies. Sadly, I loved to eat them even more. But that’s a story for the Diabetes channel.

Oh, wait! That’s the last thing to recommend Cookie Doodle. These cookies are sugar, fat and trans fat free. The butter won’t even cling to your arteries.

And even if your little boy loves it as much as your little girl, that doesn’t make him gay. But if he is gay, it isn’t because he likes to bake, and you should love him just as much anyway.

Jenny Manytoes rates Cookie Doodle

Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over Cookie Doodle. It’s like kneading real virtual dough. And isn’t that’s what cats are really doing when they make biscuits?

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat
  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

1Okay, there should be more to the equation than the ability to pronounce “nuclear.” In fact, we’ve had two recent Presidents who could’t pronounce the word. One was a Democrat and the other was a disaster. But only one was proud of how little he read. The other actually commanded a nuke-uler submarine in the Navy. So if the Navy let it slide, I guess, I should as well.back
2My little faux pas, by the way, was not designing the original brochure. It was assuming that college students, especially liberal women college students who had probably been victims of gender stereotyping themselves, would see the irony. Sadly, I discovered that irony is an acquired taste, like escargot or fine wine. It is not politically correct.back
3After my lecture on gender stereotyping it may seem ironic to add some beefcake to the column, but I thought a little spice might attract more viewers.back


About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 5 Stars - Biscuits, Child distractors, Entertainment, Games, Seasonal, Time Wasters and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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