Exclusive: Hallmark's Christmas Cookie Matchup Premiere Date Announced
Hallmark Drama has finally given us the details we've been waiting for ever since they announced that the network would air its first televised bake-off. Grab the family and your cookie loving pals and head to the couch on November 13 for this sugar, spice, and everything nice premiere.
For five weeks, six of America's best home bakers will team up with stars from Hallmark's hit drama, When Calls the Heart to compete for a $25,000 grand prize on Christmas Cookie Matchup. The teams will face different holiday baking challenges and judges Emily Hutchinson and Chadwick Boyd will have the difficult task of eliminating one team each week. Host Jack Wagner will be our guide through this sprinkle laden adventure.
Now, Southern Living can reveal just who will be competing for this cash prize and which star will their sous chef.
Anna, 23, has baking in the blood. She is the granddaughter of a professional pastry chef and she now owns her own bakery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Just like us, she is a Hallmark fanatic and observes "Christmas in July" at her bakery. If you're in the area, this sounds like the right spot to grab treats for your Hallmark movie party. Anna will bake alongside Kevin McGarry.
Monica, 35, grew up on an Air Force base and she once worked for NASA. Now, she's followed her passion for baking and opened two online sweet shops. The owner of Pent Up Cookie Company and Mack and Jane will pair up with Paul Greene.
Ricky, 37, inspired by his mother and grandmothers, started learning his craft young. He took cake decorating classes beginning at age eleven. He eventually worked his way up to become corporate executive chef at several hotels. Ricky has fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams, and quite frankly we are impressed. He built a life-sized gingerbread house. For this competition, Ricky will have the assistance of Pascale Hutton.
Laura, 32, learned to love baking and cooking as a child alongside her mother. Today she is a menswear clothing designer but in her free time she bakes, often gifting her decorated sugar cookies to friends and family. This fashion forward baker will have Kavan Smith by her side.
Jodi, 52, is a professional baker in Washington state. She owns Cake Chic Studio with her mother-in-law-turned-best-friend, Sandy. Jodi is known for elaborate wedding cakes and she also serves as executive pastry chef at Chateau le Pont Winery. Chris McNally will assist Jodi in hopes of winning top prize.
The final contestant is JC, 52, from Kansas. JC learned to bake from his mother and still lives by her motto "dessert is a must." By day, JC is an auditor for Costco Wholesale, but he is a local celebrity around Kansas City because he spends his free time making decadent desserts. He specializes in custom cakes and homemade macaroons. JC will have Erin Krakow working alongside him.
We can't wait for this new show. And we may be biased, but we'll be rooting for those two Southerners for the win!