What to Watch: Holiday Baking, Christmas Competitions and Warming Winter Recipes

Get all the details on the upcoming holiday premieres this December on Food Network.

Photo by: Jason Clairy ©Clairy Productions Inc.

Jason Clairy, Clairy Productions Inc.

Thanksgiving is over, but the holiday season is just getting started, and this December Food Network is joining the celebration with a new batch of holiday competitions and comforting recipes from your favorite chefs.

Starting this weekend, tune in to catch brand-new recipes from Ree Drummond, Giada De Laurentiis and Valerie Bertinelli that are perfect for hosting a holiday dinner party. Then Bobby Flay is using holiday leftovers to make the ultimate day-after-Christmas brunch. If sweet treats are your favorite part of the season, you’ll want to watch Trisha Yearwood as she shares her best recipes including Gingerbread Cookies (pictured),  Caramel Candy and Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies.

It wouldn’t be the holidays without plenty of baked goods, and this holiday season Cake Wars is all about Christmas, challenging bakers to create elaborate confections based on classic Christmas characters. There are also brand-new episodes of Holiday Baking Championship, and holiday-themed episodes of your favorite competition shows, like Chopped, Guy’s Grocery Games and Cooks vs. Cons. Head over to Food Network’s Holiday Central for more details on holiday premieres, recipes and more.

The Pioneer Woman: Christmas Unwrapped – Saturday, Dec. 3 10a|9c

Ree is sharing delicious new ideas for Christmas cooking. She has a trio of fast, fabulous bites; Grilled Chicken Skewers (pictured), Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta and no-cook Cheesy Mini Peppers. Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies are left out for Santa, and Ree's shaking up her sides for the big feast with Yorkshire Pudding. She also makes a warm, fragrant Mulled Apple Cider that's perfect for friends and family.

Photo by: Jason Clairy ©Clairy Productions Inc.

Jason Clairy, Clairy Productions Inc.

Trisha’s Southern Kitchen: Cookie Swap – Saturday, Dec. 3 10:30a|9:30c

‘Tis the season for many cookies! Trisha is joined by her close friends Kim and Lisa for a day of baking and drinking. Today's confections include Gingerbread Cookies, Caramel Candy (pictured) and Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies. Trisha also makes White Knight Cocktails while they demonstrate inventive and festive ways to up your cookie swap game!

Jeff Mauro and Marcela Valladolid's Orange Cranberry Bundt Cake is displayed, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 11.

Photo by: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Jason DeCrow, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Kitchen: Merry and Bright Ideas – Saturday, Dec. 3 11a|10c

The Kitchen is merry and bright this holiday season with Katie Lee's Prime Rib with Beef Gravy and Sunny Anderson's Sage Potatoes. Marcela Valladolid shows how to set a holiday table that sparkles, and Jeff Mauro makes his seasonal Orange-Cranberry Bundt Cake (pictured). Then it's time to Pass the Cheese and Cracker House before Geoffrey Zakarian makes a Flame of Love cocktail. Plus, the gang gets some party etiquette advice from manners expert Thomas Farley.

Valerie’s Home Cooking: Blended Holidaze – Saturday, Dec. 3 12|11c

The Bertinelli and Vitale clans are gathered together for a fun and festive celebration to keep the holiday spirit alive! The blended families will feast on Crown Roast of Lamb with Mint and Green Onion Pesto (pictured), Almond Cranberry Rice Pilaf, Roasted Winter Vegetables, Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls, and Cranberry-Orange Holiday Punch.

Farmhouse Rules: Fuller Holiday Special – Sunday, Dec. 4 11:30a|10:30c

Nancy Fuller is hosting a holiday party sure to impress all of her family. Her scrumptious appetizers include Crab Cakes with Zesty Herb Tartar Sauce and Marinated Beef Tenderloin Skewers with Mustard Horseradish Cream, and don't forget The Ultimate Cheese Fondue Dip Station and Grammy Carl's Popcorn Balls for the little ones. While the grandchildren trim the tree, Nancy and the grownups enjoy a show-stopping Champagne Tower with Farmhouse Kir (pictured).

Host Giada De Laurentiis' dish, Stuffed Tricolore Pork Loin, as seen on Food Network’s Giada’s Giada's Holiday Handbook, Season 2.

Photo by: Patrick Wymore ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Patrick Wymore, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

It's Christmas dinner at Giada's home, and family members exchange Secret Santa gifts. Giada celebrates the day with a beautiful sit-down dinner and several dishes that can be made in advance, including a Tricolore Stuffed Pork (pictured), Roasted Acorn Squash Agrodolce, Chopped Romaine and Radicchio Salad, and Black and White Brownie Ice Cream Cake.

Photo by: J.Shotti/Greg Morgan Jr. ©2014

J.Shotti/Greg Morgan Jr., 2014

Brunch @ Bobby’s: It’s the Brunch After Christmas – Sunday, Dec. 4 12:30|11:30c

With only a few things left in the pantry and a fridge full of leftovers, Bobby makes a post-holiday brunch featuring a Gingerbread Dutch Baby with Poached Maple Pears and Creme Fraiche (pictured), a Sweet Potato-Green Onion Pancake with Poached Eggs, Holiday Ham and Pepper Jam, and a Grapefruit Sparkle cocktail.

Holiday Baking Championship: Sweet Surprises – Sunday, Dec. 4 9|8c

Who doesn't love surprises, especially during the holidays? For the Pre-Heat, the bakers must whip up a dessert inspired by an ugly Christmas sweater. Keeping with the surprise theme, in the Main Heat the bakers create edible gift boxes filled with a bevy of treats.

Contestants, from left, Guenevere Reed, Lesa Nelms, Rachelle Nichols, and Maria Silva react as the rules are explained to them, during the introduction to the first Christmas-themed challenge, as seen on Food Network's Clash of the Grandmas, Season 1.

Photo by: Emile Wamsteker ©© 2016, Food Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Emile Wamsteker, © 2016, Food Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

These four grandmas are definitely not taking a holiday from the kitchen! First, Santa gives them his food-hack favorite, a clothes iron, which they must use in the preparation of holiday appetizers. Next, the grannies must make a Christmas main course featuring at least one fresh, one frozen and one canned ingredient. Then, the final two grandmas have to turn old-fashioned fruitcake ingredients into a holiday dessert irresistible enough to earn one of them $10,000 and impress the judges, Monti Carlo, Nancy Fuller and Eddie Jackson.

Photo by: Jason DeCrow ©©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Jason DeCrow, ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Chopped: Holiday Reality Check – Monday, Dec. 5 8|7c

Chopped is hosting a holiday party with four stars of reality television: Les Gold (Hardcore Pawn), Claudia Jordan (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), Jenni Pulos (Flipping Out) and Karina Smirnoff (Dancing with the Stars). In the first round, the larger-than-life celebs must use an edible wreath and festively shaped bread. In the second round, the judges are surprised to hear that one of the competitors has never eaten a common green veggie found in the basket. Finally, marshmallow men and holiday cocktails make for a celebratory, unpredictable dessert round.

Four remaining teams composed of a master cake artist, sugar sculptor and food carver return to battle. First, they must imagine a disguise for Santa to wear when he goes undercover. Then, in the second round, they are challenged to create a delicious world where the animals of the forest celebrate Christmas. At the end of this battle, one more team will be eliminated in the quest for the $50,000 grand prize with help from guest judge Yolanda Gampp, cake artist and host of the online series How to Cake It.

Chopped Junior: Yay Holidays! – Tuesday, Dec. 6 8|7c

'Tis the season for good times in the Chopped Junior Kitchen! The junior chefs are challenged to make a holiday meal for the judges, chefs Sandra Lee, Marc Murphy and Christian Petroni. The feast begins with duck and veggie appetizers. Then stockings and wreaths made from common foods create a festive feel in the entree round. Finally, a lot of whimsy and sugar in the dessert basket keep the last two culinary elves happy and busy.

Cooks vs. Cons: ‘Tis the Seasoning – Wednesday, Dec. 7 9|8c

Judges Ted Allen and Daphne Oz ring in the holidays as rack of lamb is infused with traditional holiday drinks. Forget naughty or nice – who's a cook and who's a con? In Round 2, holiday treats are re-gifted as flavorful dishes.

Jeff Mauro's Bundt Pan Chicken is displayed, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 11.

Photo by: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Jason DeCrow, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Kitchen: Winter Lodge – Saturday, Dec. 10 11a|10c

There's a winter chill in the air! To keep things warm and toasty, Jeff Mauro brings the heat with his Hot Tub Chicken with Roasted Fennel and Sweet Potato (pictured), while Marcela Valladolid and Sunny Anderson make two delicious fondue recipes. Geoffrey Zakarian makes a batch of French Onion Soup, and Katie Lee prepares Hot Chocolate Bread Pudding that's perfect for dessert next to the fire. The hosts show how to store winter necessities, and they toast to the season with a Warm Russian shot-ski!

Guy’s Big Bite: Home for the Holidays – Sunday, Dec. 11 9a|8c

The holidays are back, and no one does them bigger than the Fieri family! This year, Guy's got Rev Run in the kitchen, and they're making showstopping Beef Tenderloin Filets with Habanero Butter (pictured). To go with that, they’ve got Garlic and Crab Noodles, Roasted Fingerlings with Cremini Mushrooms and  Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Pecorino. Happy holidays indeed!

The remaining four bakers re-create their childhood memories of waking up on Christmas morning by making edible dessert stockings for the Pre-Heat. Then, they take their designs to new heights in the Main Heat by building colorful cream-puff Christmas trees.

Photo by: David Moir ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

David Moir, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Guy’s Grocery Games: Holiday Madness – Monday, Dec. 12 8|7c

Four chefs are dashing through the market in a holiday madness showdown. First, the chefs must flip a fruitcake on its head and turn it into a New Year's dinner. Next, the chefs take on Flavortown's version of a Christmas tree, the Food Pyramid, to determine the special ingredients used in their family classic. Then, the final two chefs must make a holiday brunch using only one ingredient from each aisle, and the winner shops for up to $20,000 in holiday mad money.

Cake Wars: Christmas: Santa’s Workshop – Monday, Dec. 12 9|8c

It's down to the final three teams of cake artists, sugar sculptors and master food carvers, and in the first round they need to help out Santa with a very important gift... the one for Mrs. Claus! Then, in the second round, Santa has stepped out of the office, and the teams are taking over to create the ultimate Santa's Workshop! Special guest judge and candy queen Jackie Sorkin helps to determine which teams will face off in the finale.

Photo by: Eddy Chen ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Eddy Chen, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Instead of milk and cookies for old St. Nick, the final three must make delicious snacks for North Pole characters other than Santa. To top off the whole season, the bakers are tasked with baking and decorating a North Pole-inspired cake. The best creation will earn one baker the crown of Holiday Baking Champion and a $50,000 prize!

It's all come down to the epic final battle of Cake Wars: Christmas! The final two teams made up of an expert cake artist, sugar sculptor and master food carver go to battle to create an amazing, edible Rudolph's Christmas Card. Then, in the winners-take-all final round, they'll face the monumental task of creating the ultimate Christmas front yard. Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi steps in as special guest judge, and when the gingerbread dust settles, one team will jingle all the way home with $50,000.

Photo by: Jason DeCrow ©©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Jason DeCrow, ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Chopped: New Year’s Bash – Tuesday, Dec. 20 10|9c

It's the first-ever Chopped New Year's party and the competitors get the celebration started with an extravagant appetizer basket that includes $50 worth of caviar and other pricy ingredients. The chefs find more premium items in the entree baskets, as well as a traditional Southern New Year's legume. The last two chefs in this New Year's fight face some dressed-up ice cream cones and a limited number of grapes for dessert.

Holiday Baking Championship: Adults vs. Kids – Sunday, Dec. 25 9|8c

It's time to celebrate the holidays and all that goes along with them: parties, the big game and one last decadent blast before the New Year's resolutions kick in! In a very special episode of Holiday Baking Championship, three Holiday Baking champions and three fan favorites from Kids Baking Championship show off their chops in a holiday showdown to win $10,000. Host Bobby Deen oversees the all-star game along with tough-love judges Duff Goldman, Nancy Fuller and Lorraine Pascale.

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