Holiday cookies are more than mere sweets: they are gifts, mementos of childhood, and most certainly made with pride. In this Christmas Cookie Challenge hosted by Jonathan Bennett, five confident and daring bakers compete to prove their holiday cookie-making skills. Tough-love judges Duff Goldman, Damaris Phillips, and Sherry Yard are on hand to crown the holiday cookie master, who will go home with a $10,000 prize!
Eddie Jackson cherishes homemade gifts that come from the heart, so he asks five of the top cookie makers to create cookies that look like handcrafted gifts. Judges Matt Adlard, Ree Drummond and Brandi Milloy pick their favorite homespun creation. Then the competitors have to create complex cookie garlands worthy of stringing up in front of the fireplace, and they fire up their cookies with smoky ingredients like paprika, smoked almonds, Gouda and scotch. When the smoke clears, one cookie maker is left standing with the $10,000 prize.
Five of the most talented cookie makers in America strive for the spotlight when Eddie Jackson presents the most difficult decorating challenge of all -- the dreaded slice-and-bake. The design must be baked into the cookie itself, and judges Vivian Chan, Ree Drummond and Dan Langan decide which baker makes the cut. Then the competitors have to create showstopping centerpieces made of cookies, but there's a catch: They have to use herbs and spices like sage, thyme, tarragon and cumin. The table is set for a sensational sugar-filled scrap for the $10,000 prize.
Eddie Jackson wishes five festive cookie makers a very Merry "Fit-mas" because Ol' St. Nick has put the entire North Pole on a strict fitness regimen. The competitors have to decorate cookies showing beloved characters from the North Pole getting fit, and judges Matt Adlard, Ree Drummond and Brandi Milloy decide which cookie makers shape up and which ones ship out. Then it's time for a much bigger makeover as the bakers redesign and reconstruct Santa's house using only cookies. They also have to infuse their sugary shacks with innovative ingredients like tahini, avocado, olive oil and almond butter. It's a remodeling race to the finish with the $10,000 prize awaiting the most adept cookie architect.
Eddie Jackson invites five of America's finest cookie makers to take on the world of fine art by assembling spectacular cookie mosaics. Judges Ree Drummond, Dwayne Ingraham and Gesine Prado decide if all the pieces fall into place. Then the cookie masters have to arrange decorated cookies into a single image worthy of display in the Louvre Museum. The infuse their edible art with cheery liqueurs like kirsch, creme de menthe, anisette and blue curacao. Proving that there's money in art, the prettiest cookie platter wins one cookie maker a $10,000 prize.
Five of the finest cookie makers around push the envelope when Eddie Jackson calls on them to craft creative Christmas cards out of cookies. Deciding which ones get "returned to sender" are judges Ree Drummond, Gesine Prado and Aarti Sequeira. Then the bakers reach for new heights by building beautiful Christmas tree toppers out of cookies and incorporating classic toppings like mini marshmallows and maraschino cherries. When the luster dust settles, one cookie maker stands alone at the top of the heap with the $10,000 grand prize.
There's no hiding when Eddie Jackson tasks five of America's best cookie makers with creating Christmas character masks made of cookies. Judges Vivian Chan, Ree Drummond and Dan Langan decide which masks are marvelous and which are just misses. Then there are more ho-ho-hijinks as a mischievous elf pops up in the pantry and all over the workshop! Inspired by his antics, Eddie asks the cookie makers to create delightful 3-D cookie displays capturing the elf's adventures. Mischief and mayhem abound as the cookie maker who best captures this tiny terror earns $10,000.
Eddie Jackson challenges five talented cookie makers to flex their skills with classic cookie cutters, using them to make dazzling designs that have nothing to do with the cutters' original shapes. Judges Ree Drummond, Dan Langan and Aarti Sequeira decide which cookie creations are a cut above. Then the stakes become crystal clear as the competitors use edible stained glass to make cookie versions of traditional Christmas decorations like trees, wreaths and lanterns. With $10,000 in their sights, they strive to make displays that are all sweetness and light.
Five cookie makers enter the workshop to find host Eddie Jackson lounging in a beach chair under a palm tree; the bakers are challenged to create cookies perfect for a Christmas in the tropics.
Eddie Jackson mistakenly grabs his box of Halloween cookie cutters from the attic; five cookie makers must hack the Halloween cutters into classic Christmas cookies.
Host Eddie Jackson asks five of America's best cookie makers to create two cookies on sticks: one representing the best part of Christmas for kids and another showing the best part for grown-ups. Deciding which three cookie makers move on to the next round is a job for judges Ree Drummond, Dan Langan and Aarti Sequeira. For the display challenge, it's the night before Christmas, but the stockings have not been hung by the chimney with care. So the competitors must craft life-size Christmas stockings entirely out of cookies and incorporate winter fruits like pomegranates, pears or clementines. Only the best of the best gets to stuff their stocking with the $10,000 grand prize.
Riding around in a vintage sleigh, Santa has rocked the same style forever, and host Eddie Jackson thinks that it's time for a total makeover. For the decorating challenge, five of the cleverest cookie makers design two different cookies: one showcasing Santa's new outfit and another featuring his new ride. It's up to judges Vivian Chan, Ree Drummond and Gesine Prado to decide which cookies are fashion forward and which are just fashion fails. In the display challenge, the three remaining cookie makers must craft cookie picture frames for their cherished family photos. Every picture tells a story, and this one ends with the winning cookie maker taking home $10,000.
Host Eddie Jackson loves traditional nesting dolls because they're the kind of Christmas gift that keeps on giving. So for this decorating challenge, he asks five of America's finest cookie makers to whip up six cookies of the same design that get progressively smaller. It's a tall order for judges Stephanie Boswell, Ree Drummond and Molly Yeh to decide which two cookie makers come up short in the first round. The task gets even tougher in the display challenge as the three remaining cookie makers must craft a Christmas village completely out of cookies. It's mayhem on Main Street as the bakers compete with $10,000 on the line.
Everyone knows how Santa Claus spends Christmas Eve, but for this decorating challenge, host Eddie Jackson asks five talented cookie makers to imagine what Christmas Eve looks like for Mrs. Claus. Judges Stephanie Boswell, Ree Drummond and Molly Yeh know that Santa's better half deserves the very best, so only the top three move on to the display challenge, where they have to craft gorgeous fireplace mantels out of cookies with ingredients like Brazil nuts, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts. It's one tough nut to crack, but one cookie maker's fireplace scene will outshine the rest for a $10,000 prize.
Traditional Christmas colors are red and green, but festive foodies have been lighting up social media with hip ombre hues, too. For the decorating challenge, host Eddie Jackson asks five trendy cookie makers to create cookies that feature at least four shades of a color. Judges Ree Drummond, Jordan Pilarski and Gesine Prado determine which three bakers have the color palette and palate worthy of moving on to the display challenge, when the remaining competitors make the workshop glow with 3-D cookie creations that actually light up! They must incorporate invigorating ingredients like coffee, chai or matcha tea, and the cookie maker that shines the brightest becomes a Christmas Cookie champion.
The festive fever is high in the decorating round as five trendsetting cookie makers hack classic cookie cutter shapes and decorate them with totally wild new designs. Judges Kimberly Bailey, Damiano Carrara and Ree Drummond will choose which three bakers have a knack for hacks and which two must pack for home. The competition intensifies in the display round when host Eddie Jackson challenges the remaining bakers to build an entire Christmas tree out of cookies. The cookie tree that rises above the rest will be crowned the best and snag the $10,000 prize.
Host Eddie Jackson thinks it's time Santa's hard-working elves get some love, too, so for the decorating round, the five talented cookie makers must make one super-sized decorated cookie for Santa plus some tiny decorated cookies for the little guys. Judges Kimberly Bailey, Damiano Carrara and Ree Drummond whip out their magnifying glasses to see which three bakers decorate best no matter the size and which two are headed home. Then, for the display round and with $10,000 on the line, the remaining cookie makers must bring a winter wonderland scene to life using cookies to create a 3D tableau.
As host Eddie Jackson explains, there's nothing cozier on a cold winter's day than cuddling up with a cup of coffee, cider, eggnog or cocoa. For the decorating round, five fantastic cookie makers must take inspiration from one of those classic winter warmers to create marvelous cookie mug toppers and decadent cookie dunkers. Judges James Briscione, Ree Drummond and Jordan Pilarski select which three bakers will slide into the second round and which two will slip out of the competition. The party continues in the display round as the final three each prepare an entirely edible cookie platter, complete with edible shot glasses! After this one's done, only one happy cookie master will party hearty with the $10,000 prize.
Santa has fallen behind on toys this year, so host Eddie Jackson recruits five crafty cookie makers to make decorated cookie toys in the first round. Judges Ree Drummond, Dan Langan and Aarti Sequeira decide which three bakers have saved Christmas for all the good little girls and boys. The gift-giving doesn't stop in the display round as the three remaining cookie masters must make entirely edible cookie boxes to fill with Christmas cookies. They say it's better to give than receive, but in this case, the best cookie maker will take home a $10,000 present.
Host Eddie Jackson asks four of America's most talented cookie makers to imagine wintry Christmas window views and then put what they see on a cookie! Judges Damiano Carrara, Ree Drummond and Jamika Pessoa peer through those cookie windows to see which ones are pristine and which three bakers advance. In the display round, the remaining cookie masters represent their favorite Christmas Eve tradition in 3D cookie form, and one competitor will have the best Christmas ever when they win the $10,000 prize.
Host Eddie Jackson challenges five of America's cleverest cookie makers to create their own custom Santa cookie shapes without the use of cookie cutters! Judges James Briscione, Ree Drummond and Joy "The Baker" Wilson step in to decide who succeeds and who just makes "Bad Santas." In the display round, the three remaining bakers have to get even more crafty by creating a Christmas wreath using only cookies. When the flour settles, only one baker's wreath will earn $10,000 of holiday green.