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Houston mom’s win on Food Network is just the icing on the cookie

After being turned down by the Food Network two times, Jacqueline Terrel, owner of Tudor House Cookies, was ready to take a break from making cookies. But, with some encouragement from her friends she applied one more time, finally finding sweet success on the show “Christmas Cookie Challenge” where she beat out her competitors to take home the big win.
After being turned down by the Food Network two times, Jacqueline Terrel, owner of Tudor House Cookies, was ready to take a break from making cookies. But, with some encouragement from her friends she applied one more time, finally finding sweet success on the show “Christmas Cookie Challenge” where she beat out her competitors to take home the big win.

HOUSTON – After being turned down by the Food Network two times, Jacqueline Terrel, owner of Tudor House Cookies, was ready to take a break from making cookies. But, with some encouragement from her friends she applied one more time, finally finding sweet success on the show “Christmas Cookie Challenge” where she beat out her competitors to take home the big win.

“I really enjoyed the experience. It was the most concentrated amount of stress I’ve ever had in a small amount of time, but it was fun stress, just like kids,” said Terrel.

A mom of four, Terrel knows very well the hectic happiness motherhood brings. It was because of her children that Terrel first got into the sugar cookie business.

“I went absolutely gangbusters for my eldest’s first birthday. One of the things I did was decorated sugar cookies, and I hated it. I said, ‘I’m never going to do this again,’” said Terrel.

Terrel’s cookie ban was lifted a couple years later, as she and her husband searched for a way for her to contribute to the household income while still being able to stay at home with their kids.

“My husband happened to come across a post on a football message board about a girl that was selling cookies, and they had an autograph on them. I was like, ‘I want to see if I can do that,’” said Terrel.

Soon, Terrel was in full-on cookie mode, starting her own business, Tudor House Cookies, and staying up until all hours of the night baking.

“I was actually thinking about taking a step away from cookies and was at Cookie Con, which is a convention for cookiers. All of my friends there knew that I had actually applied to Food Network two other times, and they encouraged me to apply. They said, ‘Just one more time, Jacqueline. Just try one more time,” said Terrel.

The third time was the charm for Terrel, as she succeeded in applying to be on Food Network’s “Christmas Cookie Challenge” hosted by Chef Eddie Jackson and The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond. Even better, she won.

“It was nice to be validated on some of the things that I thought I was good at,” said Terrel. “To have someone like Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, say that one of my cookies was the best she’s ever tasted, that’s pretty awesome.”

Though Terrel is no longer selling custom sugar cookies, she is offering virtual cookie decorating classes as well as selling her famous cookie recipes.

“I feel like you have bakers that are good at decorating cookies, or you have artists whose medium is cookies,” said Terrel. “I never really was good at drawing, or painting or anything like that, but I can make a real cute cookie.”

Indeed she can, and she’s helping others learn how to do it too. Watch the video above for her expert tips to get picture perfect decorated sugar cookies. To connect with Terrel, click here.


About the Author:

Olivia Kolanek is the Features Producer of KPRC 2's Houston Life. She joined the KPRC family in the summer of 2019 after working in non-profit communications for three years. She is passionate about creating content that features good people, good food or a good story. Olivia is a University of Houston alumna, Audible junkie and scuba novice.