Christmas Cookie Challenge Season 5: Release Date, Judges, And More - What We Know So Far

As far as food television is concerned, Halloween is so yesterday. The various programs that build up to the spooky holiday, such as "Snoop & Martha's Very Tasty Halloween," have already aired. So, culinary TV players like the Food Network now turn their gaze toward Christmas, airing wintry competition series all season long in a sort of televisual advent calendar.

One of these series, of course, is the soon returning "Christmas Cookie Challenge." After all, few desserts scream the holidays as loudly as lovingly decorated, nostalgia-inducing Christmas cookies — which is presumably why the Food Network is bringing the show back for its fifth season this November, according to a press release sent to Mashed. But when exactly will it air? Who will compete for baking fame? What cookie-related contests will unfold before the judges' eager eyes? Here's everything we know about this sugary season so far.

What is the release date for Christmas Cookie Challenge Season 5?

According to Food Network's announcement shared with Mashed, fans will have to wait just about two more weeks for the fifth-season debut of "Christmas Cookie Challenge." The season will air on the network on Thursday, November 11 at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific with a special double-episode premiere that will run for two hours in total. Viewers can also catch the series on the discoery+ streaming service.

After the premiere, the series continues with six more hour-long episodes. Food Network hasn't yet specified whether the discovery+ episodes will be added weekly or all at once; regardless, you can catch up on the cookie-themed fun online in case you miss any episodes on cable. In the meantime, begin a countdown to the Season 5 premiere with a daily viewing session of "Christmas Cookie Challenge" episodes past, featuring challenges like icing embroidery and cookie cutter "hacks" (via Food Network).

Who will judge Christmas Cookie Challenge Season 5?

Besides the cookies, of course, a core element of "Christmas Cookie Challenge" is the people. Ree Drummond and Eddie Jackson have respectively served as the series' judge and host, and according to Food Network's recent announcement, both familiar faces will return for the fifth season.

Perhaps this season will see the playful antics between Drummond and Jackson develop further. As the Pioneer Woman described in a blog post on her website, the duo wasn't so formal about judging contestants' baked goods in Season 4. "We changed things up a little bit this season: Eddie and I judge (and eat!!) cookies as we go, stopping here and there to engage in little competitions of our own on the sidelines," she said. "It's like Eddie and Ree Variety Hour, with lots of talented cookie makers thrown in." No other stars have been announced, but based on past seasons of "Christmas Cookie Challenge," you can expect many guest judges to appear throughout Season 5.

What challenges will contestants face in Christmas Cookie Challenge Season 5?

The format of "Christmas Cookie Challenge" will be similar to that of each of the Food Network's baking competitions. Specifically, each episode will show five contestants competing in two rounds of challenges for the chance to win a $10,000 prize. The tasks faced by Episode 1 and 2's competitors will be revealed on the day of the competition. However, the episode list shown on Food Network's website does give a sneak peek at what bakers will be up to for the rest of the season.

Episode 3, for example, will have the bakers make a Christmas village puzzle with six interlocking cookies. Then, they will have to make a giant fireplace out of cookies infused with various spices like paprika. The rest of the challenges feature high-concept activities that don't just test contestants' ability to make cookies, but also their creativity and construction skills. Christmas has indeed come early this year.