Butter and I Have Come to an Understanding

It was another day in the kitchen with more baking—all in all, I think I’ve made about 500 baked goods in the last 60-hours.

This morning I had to do some flow icing on the sugar cookies I made yesterday. It is fun to do, but boy does it take a while. Even with limiting the colors I used this time, it still took me several hours to mix the icing and decorate the cookies. Professional looking they aren’t, but for an amateur, I don’t think they look half-bad.

This evening was Round 2 of the cookie baking with Jennifer. For this round we made Soft Chocolate Chip with Cranberries, Mexican Wedding, Ginger Snap, and Chocolate Chip Pretzel cookies. There seemed to be more people on Zoom for Round 2, and definitely a little more festive dress. My favorite was a head band with a decorated tree on it. Several people were wearing Mickey Mouse ears.

Jennifer, as always was a great host, making sure everyone was taken care of, had the time needed to put the doughs together, and helped with the banter since the rest of us were pretty quiet as we concentrated on getting out dough correct.

As I was reading over the recipes this afternoon so I could have my mise en place ready to go, I noticed three of the recipes needed butter. And, of course, they needed softened butter. You know I do not like waiting on butter to soften since it takes several hours.

Today though, since I read the recipes early enough, I thought I’d have plenty of time for the butter to soften. Alas, this was not the case. As I was getting my mise en place ready, I put some pressure on the butter to make sure it was ready—after two and half hours one would think it be soft. It wasn’t!

I knew I couldn’t, or rather shouldn’t, melt it because of what it will do to the dough. Since I had dinner in the oven, I thought about sticking the butter in the lower oven since it does get warm. Just so you know, this doesn’t actually work as I tried it last week. The next thing was to try the microwave without causing the butter to melt. Guess what! Our microwave actually has a soften/melt feature, with a specific setting for softening butter.

It was so easy, and you’d think after using this microwave for almost two years now I would’ve seen this button before, but whatever. I just pushed the magic soften/melt button, told it how many sticks I needed to soften, and pressed start, Presto magic, the butter was softened, but more importantly, not melted. It actually worked. For each recipe, I was able to soften the butter and it didn’t take 150,000 minutes to do it. Yeah! No more waiting in the future. This little magic button has become my new best baking friend.

Now to find more recipes needing softened butter. And, you might check your microwave to see if you too have a magic soften feature.

Happy Baking!

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