Borderlands Bakery founder Lisa He will appear on Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge next month in her second televised bake-off of the year.
He’s episode, titled “Christmas Comes In All Sizes”, will air at 10 p.m. Dec. 3. She’s barred from disclosing the results of the two-round competition, which comes with a $10,000 prize for the first-place winner.
He appeared in the pilot episode of Netflix’s show Sugar Rush earlier this year, but was bounced in the first round when her lychee-and-sparkling-wine cupcakes received a flat reception. Food Network contacted He after finding her Instagram page, she said, where she has more than 55,000 followers.
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A scammer posing as a Chinese consulate representative stole He’s parents’ life savings over the summer, she said. The prospect of earning $10,000 in just a few hours was too good to pass up, she said.
“Baking is one of those things where when you’re growing up, people in your household are like, ‘Don’t go into baking for a career because you’re never going to make money,’” she said. “Now I’m using baking to try to help my parents get back on their feet.”
The Christmas Cookie Challenge episode pits He against four other competitors with an undisclosed theme. Each challenger had an hour and a half to make cookies from scratch in six different sizes before the three finalists faced off to build cookie Christmas villages in two hours.
He got into baking as a college student to burn off the stress of midterms and finals, she said, and opened Borderlands three years ago as a second job. The shop doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location but will host pop-ups from 1-4 p.m. at The Kitchen Table on Dec. 15 and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Camellia Coffee Roasters on Dec. 22.