Butter is used in almost any dessert recipe. However, softened butter is also used for baked goods such as cakes, quick bread, and cookies since they mix better and easier with sugar and flour in batters or even cookie dough. This works better than cold butter or melted butter for some recipes. This is why you need to learn how to soften butter for baking cookies.
Ways on How to Soften Butter for Baking Cookies
You may always soften butter at room temperature, but if you want something quicker, know that there are ways to do so. Softened butter is typically used for recipes that involve creaming methods such as cakes, muffins, and cookies. The process always starts with combining the butter and sugar to create air pockets. These will help your leavenings to work and make your baked recipes airy and light. There are different methods on how to soften butter for baking cookies. You may either wait for the butter to melt or hasten the process.
1. Allow the Butter to Sit at Room Temperature
Softening butter is a no-brainer if you have plenty of time. Yes, you can allow it to sit prettily on your counter without making much effort on your part. However, you have to plan. If you are planning to bake your favorite cookies in the morning, you might as well let your butter sit on the counter overnight.
This method will not work for your urges to bake without planning since it takes a lot of time. It can be a major bummer if the recipe you want calls for softened butter. This is why there are other methods to expedite the process. If you’re going to soften butter for cookies at room temperature, plan and be patient.
2. Soften Butter in the Microwave
If baking is a hobby, then you might have already tried softening butter in a microwave. Certain microwave ovens have a specific feature that allows you to soften butter in an easy peasy way. However, not all microwaves have that feature, so you might have to improvise a little bit.
Using your microwave to soften butter is absolutely the easiest way to do it, but it can be tricky. You might end up with a pool of butter instead of a softened one. Do not be hasty and do this carefully. Cleaning up after a nasty butter melt in your oven is a big headache on your part. Here’s what you can do to avoid such a mess.
- Put your butter stick on a microwave plate. Make sure to leave the paper wrapper on.
- Place the plate inside the microwave. Heat it on high power for five seconds. After that, open your microwave and flip the butter on its side for full coverage. Heat the butter again for five seconds on high power. Make sure that you do this on all for long sides of the butter stick. You should have the perfect softened butter in just a matter of 20-25 seconds. This will also depend on your microwave.
That is how to soften butter for baking cookies in the microwave. Watch the butter closely while doing so and keep flipping it. This will evenly soften the butter.
3. Cut the Butter Into Cubes
Since the best way of softening butter is by leaving it at room temperature, you may also opt to cut them. Cut the butter lengthwise and cube them into tiny pieces. The smaller you cut the cubes, the quicker it softens. Leave it at room temperature for about an hour, and if it is soft to the touch, then that means it is good to go.
4. Grate the Butter
This is one of the fastest methods on how to soften butter for baking cookies. If you stock up a lot of butter in the freezer, it is ideal for grating them. Take out your grater and grate the butter into a bowl. Your butter will magically soften in no time. You can add the softened to your recipe. This works wonders when you are in a rush while making that perfect scone.
5. Pound the Butter
Pounding your butter will shorten its softening time. All you have to do is place the butter and its wrapper between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper. After that, pound it several times on each side with your rolling pin. This will partially flatten the butter, making it quicker to soften.
6. Beat Your Butter with a Mixer
One of the most sure-fire ways in making sure that your butter softens quickly is by beating it with an electric mixer. You can do this along with your other ingredients. For specific recipes, you can cut the butter into small chunks and beat it by itself with the electric mixer. Then, you can add the other ingredients. This process varies with different recipes since not all recipes have ingredients that you can mix.
Make sure that you get the right instructions for the recipe you are about to make. Using the electric mixer is very convenient when you are in a rush.
These are the quickest ways on how to soften butter for baking cookies. Remember, this depends on the time you can spare in waiting for your butter to soften. Make sure you get the right recipe since softened butter does not apply to all.
Some recipes may require melted butter or cold butter. However, most recipes for baking cookies require softened butter. So if you are planning to bake those all-time treats, then these are the perfect ways to start. Get more tips on baking cookies.