It's the most wonderful time of the year and Food Network is spreading sweet holiday cheer with "Holiday Baking Championship" on Monday, Nov. 6 (9 p.m. ET/PT), and "Christmas Cookie Challenge" (10 p.m. ET/PT).
"Food Network's holiday programming captures the sugar and spice and everything nice about the season, with fun and exciting challenges that bring to life the spirit of holiday classic treats and traditions," said Courtney White, senior vice president programming, Scripps Networks Interactive.
The festivities begin as nine new bakers enter the "Holiday Baking Championship" kitchen to show off their talents in this seven-week competition stuffed with difficult challenges and delicious desserts to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and Chanukah. Host Jesse Palmer will put the contestants to the test as they whisk, fold and frost their way through challenges and surprising curveballs.
From crazy candy cane desserts to holiday hand pies, the contestants' baking abilities must rise to the top. Only one will "sleigh" the competition to be crowned the winner by judges Duff Goldman, Nancy Fuller and Lorraine Pascale to take home the biggest gift of the season: a $50,000 grand prize and the title of "Holiday Baking Champion."
For even more heavenly holiday treats on Monday, Dec. 25 (9 p.m. ET/PT), Duff, Fuller and Pascale welcome back past runners-up for a one-shot holiday showdown, and a second chance at victory on a special episode of "Holiday Baking Championship: Runners-Up Redemption." The familiar faces must tackle two rounds of tough new challenges, including desserts inspired by real letters to Santa Claus, and then they must assemble cupcakes into one big edible Christmas tree. On the line is their reputation and a grand prize of $10,000.
Holiday cookies are a seasonal staple and they are more than mere sweets - they are gifts, mementos of childhood and, most certainly, made with pride. In "Christmas Cookie Challenge," premiering Monday, Nov. 6 (10 p.m. ET/PT), host Eddie Jackson challenges festive and talented cookie makers in this seasonal seven-episode competition. In each episode, five daring cookie makers must prove their holiday skills through two rounds, as lead judge Ree Drummond, joined by a rotating panel of guest judges, including Kimberly Bailey, James Briscione, Damiano Carrara, Dan Langan, Jamika Pessoa, Jordan Pilarski, Aarti Sequeira and Joy Wilson, determine which baker will have the best Christmas ever, walking away with a $10,000 prize.
Fans can get new ideas for mouthwatering holiday desserts, meet the "Holiday Baking Championship" contestants and learn more about the judges at FoodNetwork.com/HolidayBakingChampionship
. Plus, they can see the most creative Christmas cookies ever, meet the judges of the challenge and watch video extras at FoodNetwork.com/ChristmasCookieChallenge
. Tell us about your favorite holiday traditions using #HolidayBakingChampionship and which cookies are your favorite using #ChristmasCookieChallenge.