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How to Host Your Own Christmas Cookie Showdown

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From sparkling lights lining the street to the first dusting of snow and spending time with your loved ones, there are so many things to love about the holiday season that it’s impossible to list them all. But, in our opinion, there’s one element of the holidays that dominates all others: the cookies. Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies, shortbread, colourfully decorated sugar cookies and gingerbread are just a few of the festive favourites that make our holidays extra sweet, so why not throw a party dedicated completely to these December delicacies? This winter, swap out your traditional Christmas parties and cookie swaps and try a Christmas Cookie Showdown instead! Read on for how to host your own.

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Watch Christmas Cookie Challenge on Food Network Canada. Stream Live or On-Demand with STACKTV. Try it free today!

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Gather the baking materials

As with any party, preparation is key. Assembling and organizing all of the necessary materials ahead of time will not only help cut down on cooking and clean up, but also buy you more time for the most important thing: fun! Stock up on Christmas cookie cutters, fill piping bags with various colours of royal icing and set up any other Christmas cookie decorations like small candy or sprinkles in small bowls. Consider baking your cookies in advance to give them plenty of time to set and cool before the games begin. The hardest part? Deciding between gingerbread and sugar cookies (we vote both).

Establish the stakes

When cookies are the name of the game, everyone wins, but nothing amps up the competition factor like a grand prize. So decide what the winners of your showdown will actually win! Gift cards? Bragging rights? Will they get to take home all of the cookies in the end? Entice your guests with the promise of an epic prize to encourage them to get their game faces on.

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Decide on cookie themes

Now the game begins: write one theme per team on a small piece of paper and toss them all in a hat. Your themes can be basic holiday concepts like snow days, North Pole, or gifts. If you want an extra challenge, write down the names of your favourite holiday movies and challenge your opponents to tell the story in cookies.

And the winner is…

Now that your creative confections are complete, it’s time to choose a winner! You can choose one of two ways to go about judging: either pre-designate a judge or group of judges (some of your less artistically inclined guests might prefer this special job) or have the entire group vote together. Grade the cookies on a scale from one to five in a series of categories, like story, accuracy, creativity, overall appeal and taste. Tally up all of the final scores and you’ve got your winner!

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Enjoy your cookies!

Now that the cutthroat competition is over and the Christmas Cookie Champion has been crowned, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the things that make the holiday season so special; spending time with your loved ones and eating as many cookies as possible! Supplement the decorated cookies with some of our other best Christmas cookie recipes or a savoury wintertime treat like our baked brie with nuts and dried fruit.

Now that all the hard work is done, it’s time to kick your feet up and relax by watching others compete for Christmas cookie glory by tuning in to Christmas Cookie Challenge. You’ve earned it!