This 57th Cookie Connection Challenge (the seventh in the new-ish Watch-Learn-Create series) has a fun twist. Regular challenge host Manu Pezzopane assumes the role of featured guest while past challenge guest Evelin Milanesi steps in as the special guest host. As you’ll see in Manu’s kickoff video, both do a splendid job in these new (albeit temporary) roles!

Manu, aka Manuela Pezzopane or Manu Biscotti Decorati as she’s known on social media, resides in Rome, Italy. She is the author of the popular Cookie Connection blog feature Made by Manu, where each month she shares the method behind a magical cookie of her own making. In March 2022, Manu also assumed the role of host of Cookie Connection’s rebranded and reformatted Watch-Learn-Create challenge series, which debuted in a virtual video format in July 2022. Manu began her cookie decorating journey in 2015 after making her first Christmas cookies and then immersing herself in Julia’s YouTube videos. Since then, cookie decorating has become Manu’s passion, and her mesmerizing video shorts have earned her a large and loyal following throughout the global cookie community.

In her challenge kickoff video, Manu, a longtime fan of royal icing transfers, explores stenciled royal icing transfers by making her signature wax seals and dimensional flowers – both simple but striking assemblies of stenciled royal icing. While Manu’s video focuses on two royal icing transfer designs, her stencil-making, stenciling, and assembly techniques are universal and can be used to make transfers of any shape or size. In fact, at the conclusion of the demo, Manu and Evelin encourage viewers to enter Challenge #57 where they can apply Manu’s techniques to transfers of their own design. As with all of Cookie Connection’s Watch-Learn-Create challenges, entrants to Challenge #57 have the rare opportunity to expand their cookie skills with one of the industry’s best, but they also get the chance to win phenomenal prizes! In this case, Manu is giving away three stencil sets of her own design, and Julia is gifting a surprise goodie box filled with decorating supplies gathered on her recent teaching trips.

To view Manu’s video lesson, click on the “LEARN MORE” button, and you’ll be taken to the “TUTORIALS: Guest Series” section of this site where you can purchase it for a nominal fee. And to enter Challenge #57, which Manu and Julia really hope you do, bop on over to the Cookie Connection Challenge #57 kickoff post.