If you’re seeking sweet gift inspirations, a way to sharpen your kitchen skills, or fresh menus for your Thanksgiving and winter meals, now’s the perfect time to schedule a cooking and baking class. Midwest teaching kitchens can help you master everything from baking crusty rustic breads to sculpting a picture-perfect pie. Here are five of our favorite places to take cooking classes; courses range from a few hours to a full weekend of hands-on learning.
Cooks of Crocus Hill, Saint Paul This Twin Cities favorite has one of the Midwest’s most impressive line-ups of cooking classes, including advice for better holiday side dishes and in-depth Turkey Talks, two-day Baking Boot Camp and how to reboot fruit cake as something everyone will actually eat. The original class kitchen and store on Saint Paul’s Grand Avenue is one of five locations throughout the metro area. If you crave a class that feels like a city escape, look for Date Nights and other classes in Stillwater, which provides a charming backdrop along the St. Croix River. (651) 228-1333; cooksofcrocushill.com
L’ecole de la Maison, Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin This elegant, historical resort overlooking Elkhart Lake hosts a year-round school where sauces simmer, meats sizzle, and spiced, fruity whiffs of pies and strudels swirl around the modern kitchen. Its seasonal offerings include a daylong workshop focused on Thanksgiving with tips for baking the perfectly browned turkey, broiled salmon with maple and pistachio butter, a dressing with leeks, mushrooms and parsnips, and honey cardamom rolls. Or take one on a French Christmas Dinner and another that focuses on the Alsace wine region with its overlapping French and German cuisine. (877) 804-8630; cookingschoolatosthoff.com
Zingerman’s Bake!, Ann Arbor, Michigan Gather around the giant butcher-block table for hands-on lessons that unleash your inner baker at Michigan’s legendary deli, bakeshop and culinary institution. Half- and full-day classes cover sweet classics (think black magic brownies and hummingbird cake); earthy, crusty breads; Jewish specialties; ethnic dinner series; and pizzas. Plan ahead for popular classes, such as ones about Thanksgiving dinner, holiday cookies and holiday sweet breads; they sell out by mid-fall. (734) 761-7255; bakewithzing.com
Glass Rooster Cannery, Sunbury, Ohio With an emphasis on home canning, do-it-yourself goodies and preserving local harvests in unique ways, you’ll find plenty of gift-worthy ideas in classes at this pretty barn. Learn to bake baklava and cannoli; make homemade wine and mozzarella cheese at adult classes; bring your little ones to a kid-focused cookie class. (614) 499-2958; glassroostercannery.com
Chateau Chantal, Traverse City, Michigan Class participants don’t have to stay at this combination bed-and-breakfast and winery on the scenic Old Mission Peninsula, but it would elevate the experience. January through early May classes include a wine boot camp, Italian and French cuisine, and two chocolate-themed February sessions in conjunction with Grocer’s Daughter Chocolates. (231) 223-4110; chateauchantal.com
Lisa wrote Day Trips from the Twin Cities and blogs about Minnesota and the Midwest at 10000Likes.com.
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