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Food Network: Meet Judges Eddie Jackson and Ree Drummond.

Food Network: Meet Judges Eddie Jackson and Ree Drummond.

Let’s switch off our brains and talk about Christmas cookies. It’s the festive season, isn’t it? It’s not bad politics or a deadly virus taking over the world. Pssh, no. The holiday season is all about festivities, gorgeous food and pure gorging.

That’s why we’re so grateful for Food Network’s huge catalogue of holiday-themed baking competitions, including the Christmas Cookie Challenge, which has been on air since 2017. Food Network’s bakers take holiday cookie baking seriously because these aren’t just plain old cookies. They’re magical, sentimental cookies. “They are gifts, mementos of childhood, and most certainly made with pride,” confirms the description of the Christmas Cookie Challenge. The series celebrates an annual tradition by challenging five imaginative and talented bakers to create a different kind of cookie masterpiece, all for sweeter prizes than iced sugar cookies. So what is the grand prize in question?

When it comes to Food Network’s niche competition series, the grand prizes are not as big as, for example, NBC’s The Voice, which offers a $100,000 prize. And we’re still baffled that Paramount Plus’s new drag queen singing competition Queen of the Universe is offering $250,000 to the winner. The Christmas Cookie Challenge only offers a $10,000 prize to the cookie champion, but maybe that’s what makes it so healthy.

Hey, money is money. But there’s something that feels warmer when a group of bakers share their holiday cheer, charming family memories and personal baking techniques when the stakes aren’t so high. It’s seemingly more about joy and passion than money.

Food Network: Meet Judges Eddie Jackson and Ree Drummond.

If bakers are challenged to create Christmas wreaths or hot chocolate cups out of cookies, Eddie Jackson and Ree Drummond are there to critique and of course taste their creations.

Former NFL player Eddie Jackson won Food Network Star season 11 and owns Rosehill Beer, a famous food truck park outside the city of Houston. In addition to these incredible accomplishments, he is also a personal trainer. While we’re sure cookies don’t fit into Eddie’s typical healthy eating plan, CCC only comes around once a year!

Since 2011, Ree Drummond has been the Food Network’s much-loved red-headed presenter The Pioneer Woman. Known for her delicious comfort food and a renowned food blogger, photographer and cookbook author, Ree has left her busy city life in Bartlesville, OK to live a more peaceful and meaningful life with her husband and children on the ranch. She’s the boss of OG’s country girls.

Written by Evelyn Foster

SENIOR WRITER/TEAM LEAD

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