The New Season of ‘Christmas Cookie Challenge’ Is Here!

From The Pioneer Woman

November is here, and you know what that means: It’s cookie season!

Even if you’re not ready to decorate your Christmas tree or listen to Christmas music yet, it’s never too soon to start your holiday baking. Food Network agrees, which is why we’re gifted with Christmas Cookie Challenge every year.

The annual competition starts up again on November 9 at 10 p.m. EST, but it’s going to be a slightly different than in the past.

“We changed things up a little bit this season: Eddie and I judge (and eat!!) cookies as we go, stopping here and there to engage in little competitions of our own on the sidelines,” Ree Drummond says. “It’s like Eddie and Ree Variety Hour, with lots of talented cookie makers thrown in.”

Tune in to see a bunch of talented bakers go head-to-head in hopes of winning a $10,000 grand prize. But with Ree, Eddie Jackson, and other celebrity guests to impress, the pressure is seriously on. Let’s take a closer look at the Christmas Cookie Challenge judges, and see what these brave competitors are up against.

Ree Drummond

Yours truly is back and ready to taste some delicious treats! Ree has pretty amazing Christmas cookies herself, so she knows what makes an unbeatable peppermint thumbprint or a perfectly spiced gingerbread. Plus—she’s The Pioneer Woman! No knows how to please a crowd (aka the Drummond kids) quite like Ree.

Eddie Jackson

Photo credit: Zack Smith
Photo credit: Zack Smith

Ree’s pal Eddie rose to fame on the football field, but his delicious recipes deserve their own trophy. (Like these short ribs. Mmm.) He earned his Food Network chops after winning Food Network Star in 2015, and he’s been wowing audiences ever since. Perhaps our favorite part about Eddie when it comes to Christmas Cookie Challenge, though, is his friendship with Ree. In this season’s premiere, for example, you can expect “some hilarious moments involving a Nutcracker prank,” according to Ree. Can’t wait!

Gesine Prado

Gesine Prado of Baked in Vermont will be serving as a guest judge this year. Gesine is an acclaimed pastry chef, home cook, and even has her own baking school attached to her home. It’s safe to say she’s a cookie queen!

Jason Smith

You can’t miss a moment of Jason Smith. He’s a self-taught chef and baker who knows all about succeeding in a Food Network showdown—after all, he did win Holiday Baking Championship! He’ll help Ree and Eddie make some difficult (but delicious) decisions when he joins them on Christmas Cookie Challenge.

Every week is a new adventure, so be sure to tune in for all the upcoming episodes.

“It’s gonna to be so much fun and fun is what we need,” Ree says.