Fudge Ripple Brownies

Tips for Making Wonderful Baked Goods

From cakes and cookies to bars and brownies, homemade goodies are a winning way to welcome a neighbor, cheer a friend or show your family how much you care. You can try Fudge Ripple Brownies (pictured) or Apricot Upside-Down Cake.

But novice cooks, and even veteran bakers, can come across a term or technique that makes them hesitate. Like folding in an ingredient…which is when a light or delicate ingredient, such as whipped cream or egg whites, is combined with heavier ingredients without beating to retain a light texture.

When folding in egg whites, a rubber spatula is used to gently cut down through the middle of the ingredients, move across the bottom of the bowl and bring up part of the heavier mixture.

Folding is just one of the terms you'll likely encounter when baking. Here's a brief guide of a few other baking terms.

  • Beat: To make a mixture smooth by rapidly mixing with an electric mixer, fork, spoon or wire whisk.
  • Combine: To place several ingredients in a single bowl or container and thoroughly mix.
  • Cream: To beat butter, margarine or shortening alone or with sugar using a spoon or mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Moisten: To add enough liquid to dry ingredients while stirring to make a wet but not runny mixture.
  • Soft peaks: To beat cream or egg whites until soft, rounded peaks form when the beaters are lifted.
  • Stiff peaks: To beat egg whites until stiff, pointed peaks form when beaters are lifted.
  • Whip: To beat rapidly by hand or with an electric mixer to add air and increase volume.