oats – A processed grain. Oats are processed into many forms, including quick oats, long cooking oats, rolled oats, oat bran, and oat flour. Oats are a common ingredient used in baking and are sometimes substituted for flour.
oatmeal cookies – A popular old-fashioned drop cookie made with oatmeal, along with raisins commonly added to the cookie dough for extra sweetness. See recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
obsttorte – A German torte made with a sponge cake that is filled with pastry cream and fresh or candied fruit. The torte is covered with almond meringue and garnished with toasted almonds.
offset spatula - An offset spatula has a long, narrow, flexible stainless steel blade that allows easy frosting of cakes. You can easily spread frosting or whipped cream around the sides of the cake with this spatula, and it is flexible enough to use to create fanciful frosting swirls on top. A small offset spatula is good for frosting cupcakes or cookies. Shop for offset spatulas.
oliebollen – A Dutch dessert served at Christmastime. The dessert is a rich fried doughnut filled with a spiced apple mixture and rolled in sugar.
one-bowl method – A mixing method where all the ingredients are combined in one bowl, and normally mixed together all the same time in one step.
opera torte – A French torte made with thin alternating layers of sponge cake brushed with coffee syrup, chocolate ganache, and coffee flavored buttercream. The top is covered with chocolate ganache, and the sides are sliced off to expose the layers.
orange – A round citrus fruit. Oranges have a thick orange rind and a sweet-tart segmented fruit. Orange and orange flavorings are a commonly used in baking. The peel can be removed and discarded, but it is also edible. The peel of citrus fruits is often candied. See recipe for Candied Lemon Peel.
orange liqueur – An orange flavored clear alcohol that is used in cocktails, and often used as an orange flavoring in baking. A lower grade of orange liqueur is normally sold as Triple Sec, and higher grades as Curacao, Grand Marnier, and Cointreau.
orangeat – A petit four made with almond paste mixed with candied orange pieces. The petit four is covered with fondant and garnished with a piece of candied orange peel.
orange flower water – A clear, sweet, fragrant liquid distilled from orange blossoms, used as a flavoring in desserts, pastries, and confections. Orange flower water is very concentrated and only a small amount is needed to impart the flavor.
orgeat syrup – A sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and orange flower water. Orgeat syrup is primarily an almond flavor used in cocktails and confections.
othello – A small sponge cake filled with chocolate pastry cream, brushed with apricot glaze, and covered with chocolate fondant. The cake is named for the character Othello the Moor in Shakespeare’s Othello.
ounce – A volume measurement equivalent to 2 tablespoons or 1/8 cup.
oven thermometer - An oven thermometer is useful for checking the accuracy of your oven. You can also move the thermometer to different positions in your oven to check for hot spots. An oven thermometer should be a mercury thermometer that either hangs or sits on the rack. Check the temperature after you have preheated the oven, then adjust the heat up or down as needed if the actual temperature varies from the original setting. Shop for oven thermometers.
oz – The abbreviation for ounce.