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East Texas Baker to Appear on Food Network Show

CARTHAGE — Carthage cookie baker Madison Bagley is set to appear Dec. 14 on the Food Network’s “Christmas Cookie Challenge.” Bagley runs Busy Bee Bakehouse, a majority online cottage bakery that specializes in highly detailed cookie art. She has been running the bakery for a number of years after an episode of “Christmas Cookie Challenge” inspired her to take up the craft.

“I didn’t come to do this as a baker,” Bagley said. “I actually came at this more as an artist. But don’t get me wrong, my cookies taste amazing. But it’s more about the art of creating them for me.”

Bagley said she was watching an episode of the cookie baking competition with her mother-in-law a few years ago when she mentioned an interest in trying out the hobby.

“It was all a joke, and then that year she got me one of those little cookie decorating kits for Christmas,” Bagley said. “I started making them then, and here we are.”

Through the gift, Bagley said she found a love, and a talent, for creating detailed cookie-based art and has since grown her business and her presence in the baking community.

Since 2021, along with running her bakery and her online baking Instagram @busybeebakehouse, Bagley also has competed annually in the national Cookie Con cookie baking convention and competition. She said she has taken home an award each year and has even started teaching a decorating course during the convention.

“Competing in Cookie Con has been such a great adventure,” she said. “It’s been so much fun getting to know other people in the cookie community over the years.”

To appear on “Christmas Cookie Challenge,” Bagley said she had to begin the application process in February, going through a number of interviews with casting before filming the episode in June. The show features a number of competitors competing in two cooking-based challenges to win $10,000. The first challenge is to decorate four cookies within 90 minutes, with the second designed to create a 3-D cookie utilizing a mystery ingredient.

“It was crazy. We were running around so busy for three days,” Bagley said, “But I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

She added that the experience of competing on a cookie-based reality TV show is one that she would never replace, even with all of the craziness that comes along with it. The episode is set to air at 8 p.m. Dec. 14 on the Food Network.

Source: Tyler Morning Telegraph