Need those cookies in a hurry? Don’t fret waiting for the butter to reach room temperature on its own! Instead use these kitchen hacks to learn how to soften butter quickly!
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Holiday baking season is upon us and like many of you, I couldn’t be more excited! I have a lot of tasty and festive recipes headed your way the next few months, but first I wanted to share with you some tried and true tips and tricks for how to soften butter quickly!
I love to spend time in the kitchen baking; however, I really never have time to bake like I want and I never think ahead to get things prepped, like take the butter out to soften.
Over the years, I’ve discovered many baking hacks to help me save time and energy in the kitchen. From a homemade cake flour substitute, to these baking tips for how to soften butter quickly, which help me every time I want to whip up my favorite Cherry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Toffee Cookies on a whim!
WHY DO YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO SOFTEN BUTTER QUICKLY?
Most recipes call for cold, room temperature or melted butter.
Cold butter is often used in recipes where a flaky texture is desired, like in a pie crust or the biscuits found in this Turkey Pot Pie with Cheddar Herb Biscuit Topping. When using cold butter in these recipes, the butter doesn’t actually get mixed into the dough all the way allowing for pockets of buttery goodness and a flaky texture.
Other recipes that often call for cold butter are streusels, like the one on this French Toast Casserole with Cinnamon Pecan Streusel, or buttery shortbread, like the shortbread crust found in my favorite Lemon Bars.
Some baking recipes use melted butter as a “binder” to form things like a graham cracker or cookie pie crust, as found on this Cappuccino Pie.
Alternatively, butter maybe melted with other ingredients, like peanut butter, marshmallows or chocolate, as seen in this recipe for Ultimate Peanut Butter Brownies, to help liquefy these ingredients and incorporate them into the batter.
However, most recipes for baked goods call for “softened” or “room temperature” butter to cream together with sugar. To successfully make these recipes, you want to ensure your butter is in fact room temperature and not cold or melted. Typically this means letting your butter sit on the counter at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.
This is because butter that is too cold or that is melted won’t cream properly and will affect the outcome of your cake, cookies, brownies, etc. and can cause your breads and cakes to be dense, cookies spread too much or your frosting not to set up.
How to tell if your butter is softened to room temperature: If you can press the butter with your index finger and it leaves an impression in the butter, then the butter is perfectly soft and ready for baking!
If you’re like me, you may not want to wait 60 minutes for butter to soften on the counter just to bake up your favorite dessert recipes. If that is the case, and you are looking for ways soften butter quickly, look no further!
HOW TO SOFTEN BUTTER FOR BAKING!
Cut cold butter into small cubes: This is my favorite hack for softening butter! Since the butter is in small pieces, it softens much more quickly.
Pound the butter out: Place the cold butter in a durable plastic food storage bag, release the excess air and seal the bag tightly. Alternatively, you can place the butter between two pieces of wax paper. Then using a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet, pound out the butter until it is only about 1/4-inch thick.
Place the sticks of butter on the top of the oven while it preheats: This is another quick and easy hack, just be careful that you don’t leave the butter on the warm oven too long as it will start to melt.
How to soften butter with a warm glass: Cut the amount of butter you need to use and place it on a cutting board or plate. Fill a glass with hot tap water. Let the glass sit, filled with hot water, for about one minute. Next, dump the water out and turn the glass over to enclose the stick of butter and let it sit for one to two minutes or until the butter is softened.
How to soften butter in the microwave: Place the stick of butter on a plate and microwave on 50% power for 20 seconds. Check butter by pressing into it gently. If it is still hard, microwave for another 15-20 seconds or until softened. Use caution when softening butter this way, as it can melt quickly and you don’t want to use any melted butter in recipes calling for room temperature butter.
How to soften frozen butter quickly:
The fastest way to soften frozen butter for baking is to use a box grater and grate the frozen butter into small pieces.
Important Note: If a recipe calls for room temperature butter, then you want to make sure all the other ingredients are also room temperature. This includes the eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. This is to ensure that when these ingredients are added to the butter in the mixing process that the butter remains at room temperature.
Recipes using room temperature butter:
Chewy Orange Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies – Looking for the best chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe ever? Look no further than my perfect Chewy Orange Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies!
Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes – Celebrate the flavors of spring with these bold, bright and tangy Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes, a delightful dessert recipe perfect for warmer days!
Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls – Take your holiday brunch to the next level with these homemade Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, perfectly paired with an easy three step vanilla latte!
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