Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Softening Butter

 

Many recipes call for softened butter. Soft butter integrates into cake and cookie batters more easily than cold butter, which is ideal for biscuits, scones and pie crusts.  It’s often assumed that the butter should sit out for hours until it is so soft it no longer holds its shape. The reality of the situation is that for many items, the butter reacts best when is at about 65 degrees F.

Butter at this temperature still holds its stick shape but is pliable enough to blend into your dough or batter easily when using a mixer. It is also cool to the touch, but not cold.

This temperature can be achieved by allowing the butter to sit out for a bit, or by helping it along. Placing it in the microwave for a mere 10 -15 seconds takes stick butter from refrigerator hard to cool and pliable in no time. Be very careful not to leave it in longer, or the edges will start to melt, which affects the texture of your baked goods. While microwave strength may vary, it shouldn’t take more than just a few SECONDS to take your butter to the proper temperature and get you ready to bake in no time.

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