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Eight cooking classes in NYC to help you totally own Friendsgiving

Photograph: Shutterstock

New Yorkers aren’t known for their stellar cooking skills. You can thank pop culture for that cliché: Carrie Bradshaw famously used her oven for shoe storage in Sex and the City and Joey Tribbiani got a raw turkey stuck on his head in Friends.

Defy stereotypes this year by cooking a dynamite pumpkin pie, roasted turkey or batch of sugar cookies for your Friendsgiving or office party. Your friends will be impressed you cooked at all and floored once they realize your pie actually tastes better than the one they bought at Bubby’s. (OK, maybe not better, but definitely just as good.) Learn all the culinary skills you need to totally own this holiday season in one of these eight cooking classes in NYC.

Celebrating the Harvest: A Thanksgiving Feast at Butter Beans; Nov 16 at 7pm; $95

Yes, it’s possible to pull off a Thanksgiving even Martha Stewart would applaud in a New York–sized kitchen. Just let the pros at Butter Beans show you how it’s done. The chef will demonstrate the technique for roasting a tender, juicy turkey, then let you try your hand at making a Southern-style cornbread-sausage stuffing, balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts and cranberry curd.

Bake the Book Series: Pumpkin Pie Cake and Truffles at Milk Bar; Nov 19 at 11am; $95

With layers of fluffy pumpkin cake, graham cracker liquid cheesecake and pumpkin ganache and a topping of candied pumpkin seeds, this cake is a big upgrade from store-bought pumpkin pie. The complexity of flavors and stunning presentation will win over even the most ardent pumpkin spice haters. You’ll practice making your own cake and truffles in this two-hour class at the bakery’s Williamsburg classroom.

Thanksgiving Pies: Take and Bake at Le Pain Quotidien’s Bleecker St Bakery; Nov 22 at 5:30pm; $150

Thanksgiving traditionalists will want to crank out their holiday pie baking in this two-hour class. The experts at Le Pain Quotidien will teach you to roll your own dough and mix up delicious fillings—enough to make three pies to take home for your Turkey Day festivities.

Holiday Favorites: Wine and Cheese 101 at Murray’s Cheese; Nov 22 at 6:30pm; $90

Throwing a holiday party this season? Your wine and cheese pairing game will be strong after getting expert instruction at Murray’s Cheese. You’ll sample red, white and dessert wines and learn which pairs best with different varieties of fromage. Get ready to wow your guests with your hors d’oeuvres.

The Art of the Cupcake: Holiday Edition at Buttermilk Bakeshop; Dec 5 at 5:30pm; $80

Thanks to their convenient size, cupcakes make the perfect treat to bring to the office or a holiday party. Practice decorating these bite-size sweets with piped snowflakes, holly leaves, snowmen and other festive designs in this class at Buttermilk Bakeshop. Everyone will leave with a box of at least six hand-decorated cupcakes.

A Very British Christmas at the Institute of Culinary Education; Dec 10 at 6pm; $130

The British do Christmas right: Every street seems to have some sort of festive decoration, they wear silly paper crowns from Christmas crackers during dinner and the food—to say it puts American holiday favorites to shame would be an understatement. Discover how they holiday across the pond in this cooking class that covers everything from the turkey roasted in bacon fat to pork pies to Christmas pudding spiked with rum. Bonus: You’ll wear Santa hats and sip mulled cider while you cook!

Gingerbread House Workshop at Taste Buds Kitchen; Dec 10, 17 at 8pm and Dec 18 at 8:30pm; $79

Typical New York apartments don’t have a lot of room for holiday decor, so get your festive fix by decorating a gingerbread house instead. Attach multicolored candy shingles to the roof, pipe frosting icicles from the eaves and build a pretzel picket fence in this BYOB workshop. The finished creation will be the envy of your fictional gingerbread neighbors.

Great Holiday Cookies at the Institute of Culinary Education; Dec 22, 23 at 6pm; $115

If you forget to leave Santa some cookies and milk, do you automatically end up on the naughty list? Better be safe than sorry and learn to make five cookie recipes—oatmeal-chip chews, hazelnut-gingerbread stars, chocolate-almond hearts, almond lace tuiles and best fudge cookies ever—in this class at the Institute of Culinary Education. Pro tip: A tin of homemade cookies also makes a dynamite holiday gift for any hard-to-please family members.

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