I loved using my Easy Bake Oven as a kid. Even though the lightbulb-powered oven perpetually underbaked anything that you put inside of it, it was fun and incredibly satisfying to use. And I didn’t really mind that my cakes, cookies and other desserts were underdone at the time. If the convenience of small batch cookie baking still appeals to you enough that you want a whole appliance dedicated to it, the CHiP Smart Cookie Oven might be for you. The countertop appliance is designed to perfectly bake cookies just four at a time.
To use the CHiP, bakers will buy cookie pods (similar in concept to Keurig coffee pods) that they will store in the refrigerator. When the craving for a cookie strikes, they can grab the pod and scan the QR code into a phone app, which will then be sent to the machine so it is calibrated to bake that particular cookie. The dough is popped into the oven and you’ll have cookies about 10 minutes later. The cookie dough options come in a variety of flavors in three price categories, ranging from $1 to $2 per four pack of dough. The options sound slightly more gourmet than the packaged cookie dough you can buy at the grocery store (Funfetti, Dark Chocolate Rocky Road and Red Velvet Beetroot White Chocolate, to name a few), but at a significantly higher price. You can use homemade cookie dough on the “manual” mode if you want to take the time to make your own cookie dough and bake it in small batches. The oven promises that it is “designed to fit your lifestyle,” but it seems to assume that your lifestyle involves preferring not to use a traditional oven and wanting the option to bake cookies at home, at work and on the go (the “business traveler” lifestyle example seems like he is taking his with him on the road).
This oven is currently trying to raise funding on Kickstarter, so you can’t buy it yet. The expected retail price is $250, but backers can potentially get in at a lower price level. For the money, I think that you’re probably better off buying a regular convection oven so that you have some options. After all, a countertop convection oven can also make toast, reheat pizza, and cook dinner, in addition to baking off a small batch cookies. If the price came down, however, the novelty of a gadget like this one could win over some grown ups looking for an upgrade to their old Easy Bake Oven experiences.