Earlier in 2022, Cookie Connection’s popular Practice Bakes Perfect challenges went on hiatus and began their transformation into the new Watch-Learn-Create series. After much input and hard work by several Cookie Connection members, Challenge #51, the first in this series, picks up where Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #50 left off, but with a brand new look and feel. Woo hoo!

Hosted by longtime Cookie Connection contributor Manu Pezzopane, each challenge will now launch with an interactive video component that is designed to teach skills or techniques, and spur ideas for the ensuing challenge. With fewer rules and direct access to the cookie industry’s leading experts, these new challenges pose even greater opportunity for learning and growth than the widely lauded Practice Bakes Perfect series. The first featured guest is me with a challenge centered around the shaping and covering of 3-D cookies. I demonstrated these techniques live on my Facebook business page earlier today (July 20), and the recording (in two parts) can now be found in host Manu’s kickoff challenge post on Cookie Connection, just waiting for you to watch it, learn from it, and then create your own challenge entry inspired by what you learned. (Get it?! That’s the motivation for the new Watch-Learn-Create tagline!) I’ll be stopping by Manu’s post on a regular basis between now and the close of the challenge to answer any questions you might have about my demo or as you make your entries. Please leave any questions in the comments section there, and be sure to tag me so I can jump on your questions right away.

Again, for more Challenge #51 information – including my two-part video demonstration and the associated challenge rules, prizes, and schedule – check out Manu’s kickoff post on Cookie Connection. Entries are due on September 20, 2022 (5 pm CDT) so there’s plenty of time to create. Plus, at the end of the challenge, Manu will be awarding $270 in prizes to 11 lucky winners, drawn at random. BTW, if you’re curious about the rationale for the challenge makeover, see this explanation also provided by Manu. And while you’re on the site, please peruse the rest of it and consider becoming a member (it’s free!). Just click the “JOIN NOW” button on the Cookie Connection home page and follow the prompts.

UPDATE, October 8, 2022: This challenge has closed, but you can still learn from my challenge videos by purchasing them in this site’s “Guest Series” section under “TUTORIALS”. You’ll also want to ooh and ahh over the entries in Manu’s challenge recap post on Cookie Connection.