ho-ho-hold your cookie cutters
Round Rock baker gets festive for Food Network baking competition
Among those in a holiday mood in Round Rock this season is — presumably — Joshua Juarez, who has been baking up a blizzard in the Food Network's 2023 Holiday Baking Championship. The season begins on November 6, and will continue through eight episodes of holiday cheer.
Novelty baking is not new for Juarez, who owns a dog bakery and grooming salon called Woof Gang Bakery, plus a home holiday décor business, according to his bio on the Food Network.
Juarez is also a promising pick not just for his holiday enthusiasm, but thanks to his past Food Network win during the 2019 Christmas Cookie Challenge.
"Who woulda thought the dog baker from Austin could do it all?!" wrote the winner on Instagram in his 2019 announcement. "BEYOND grateful and absolutely humbled by all the love and support sent my way!"
Former NFL quarterback and Spring Baking Championship host Jesse Palmer will host this 10th Holiday Baking season. He'll be joined by judges Carla Hall, best known for ABC's The Chew; Duff Goldman, best known for Ace of Cakes; and Nancy Fuller, host of Farmhouse Rules. The winning baker will take home a prize of $25,000.
The eight episodes follow various themes and challenges:
- "Season's Best": Bakers will combine two classic treats, bake up cinnamon rolls, and kick the season off with a yule log
- "Can't Wait for Turkey Day": The bakers will create edible turkey sculptures and show off their Thanksgiving tablescaping
- "Hallmarks of Thanksgiving": Bakers invent seven-layer desserts (instead of dips), then all bake the same pie for comparison
- "Holiday Whimsy": First up is Mont Blanc desserts, followed by a Willy Wonka-inspired suspended and inverted cake challenge
- "Holiday Beauty": The Christmas museum inspires mini-tart replicas, and bakers make their own wrapping paper cakes
- "Holiday Imagination": The bakers learn to make latkes, transfer those skills to latke-inspired desserts, and then create letterboard holiday bars
- "Reasons for the Season": Kwanzaa plantain desserts kick things off, followed by large-scale edible ornaments, and finally blitz puff pastry Christmas tree pull-aparts
- "Holiday Gifts Galore": In the three part finale, bakers make macaron wreaths, eclairs, and cakes that will have actual trains snaking through
The season premiere of Holiday Baking Championship will air on Monday, November 6, at 7 pm. More content, including decorating tips from the judges, will be available at foodnetwork.com. Follow on social media using #HolidayBakingChampionship.