Here's yet another serving of some delicious educational opportunities to get down and dirty for next week. All classes listed still have openings, but if you hear otherwise, please let us know.

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[Photograph: Allison Hemler]

'Natale in Italia: Italian Christmas Baking' at ICE
Saturday, December 5, 6 to 10 p.m., $120
Master baker Nick Malgieri leads an instruction on classic Italian Christmas treats. Learn how to bake Struffoli (caramelized pastries), Panettone Milanese (sweet Christmas bread), Calzoncelli (fried turnovers filled with chestnut or chickpea and chocolate), and Cucidate (Sicilian fig cookies).
The Institute of Culinary Education, 50 West 23rd Street (at Sixth Avenue), Manhattan; 800-522-4610; rec.iceculinary.com for more info and registration

'Pickling' at The Brooklyn Kitchen Labs
Tuesday, December 8, 6:30 to 8 p.m., $40
This extremely popular class with the young and hip will take you through all the steps of pickling your own goods. Hands-on, seasonal, and an extra bonus: you'll leave with jar of homemade pickles!
Brooklyn Kitchen Labs, 100 Frost Street (b/n Leonard Street and Manhattan Avenue), Brooklyn; 718-389-2982; thebrooklynkitchen.com for info and registration

How to judge cheese, and cooking in the spirit of Craig Claiborne—after the jump.

'Beest of the Best: World Class Cheese' at Murray's Cheese
Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 to 8 p.m., $50
Ever wanted to know how cheese is judged? Join Carlos Yescas, judge of the 2009 World Cheese Championships, through a tasting of world class cheeses which will show you everything you need to know about how cheese hits your palate.
Murray's Cheese, 254 Bleecker Street (at Sixth Avenue), Manhattan; 212-243.3289; murrayscheese.com for info and registration

'Great Cooks and their Books: Craig Claiborne' at Astor Center
Friday, December 11, 6 to 10 p.m., $125
This class, inspired by the great New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne, discusses his influence in sophisticated recipes for the at-home cook. You'll whip up such culinary delights as crabmeat canapes, chicken pot pie, lobster a la Americaine, green beans a la Nicoise, and a raspberry linzer torte.
Astor Center, 399 Lafayette Street (at East 4th Street), Manhattan; 212-674-7501; astorcenternyc.com for info and registration

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