Series premiere Sunday, Nov. 9, on Food Network
From cookie exchanges to holiday pies, fruitcakes to gingerbread houses, eight bakers show off their holiday dessert traditions - and superb baking skills - as they compete on Food Network's "Holiday Baking Championship." The series premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9.
In order to survive this festive competition, hosted by Bobby Deen, contestants must prove their abilities to win a sweet spot in the hearts of judges Duff Goldman ("Ace of Cakes"), Nancy Fuller ("Farmhouse Rules") and Lorraine Pascale ("Lorraine's Fast, Fresh and Easy Food"). Only one winner will take home the grand prize of $50,000 and the title of "Holiday Baking Champion."
In each of the six hour-long episodes, competitors tackle traditional holiday desserts in challenges that are not as easy as a piece of pie. Will the bakers be able to makeover the much-maligned fruitcake? Can they create anything but a pie with a store-bought piecrust? Will they be able to translate their favorite holiday memory into a delectable dessert?
On the first episode, the bakers' talents are tested with a cookie challenge. In the pre-heat round, the competitors must open their presents to reveal baking tools that must be used to create the best holiday cookies. One contestant will win a special advantage in the main heat challenge, where he or she needs to make a dozen of three different types of cookies using the classic holiday ingredients: bittersweet chocolate, fresh oranges and toffee bits.
Fans can also access all-new recipes, see behind-the-scenes photos and join judge Duff each week at FoodNetwork.com/BakingChampionship for a special Web-exclusive video series featuring fantasy creations based on each episode's theme. Plus, join the baking banter on Twitter using #BakingChampionship.
Deen has hosted his own series on Cooking Channel, "Not My Mama's Meals," reworking the recipes of classic comfort foods to be lighter, leaner and just as delicious.