Imagine you've got your heart set on whipping up a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. You gather all of your ingredients one by one on the countertop, but quickly come to a dreaded realization — the recipe calls for room-temperature butter, and all you have is an unyielding block of chilled butter straight from the refrigerator. Sure, you could play the waiting game or zap it in the microwave. But then you run the risk of ending up with a greasy, melted mess that will make for even more cleanup. So, what's the solution?
Turns out you can still use your microwave to soften cold butter to room temperature without turning it into a pool of liquid gold. Simply use the defrost setting. As illustrated in a popular TikTok video, it's as simple as taking your cold butter, cutting it into tablespoons, and arranging the pads on a microwave-safe dish. Pop it into the microwave and turn on the defrost setting for 10 seconds. Turn the pads of butter over and defrost again for five to seven seconds. Voilà! Perfect room-temperature butter.
The Real Origins Of The Butter Defrosting Trick
Users were amazed that the key to room temperature butter was so simple. "Tried [three] different tactics and this is the only one that worked," one TikTok user commented. "I just tried it and it worked perfectly," another said.
One other TikTokker shared an additional tip to keep an eye out for: "Some microwaves have softening settings. I share this to save others the [six] months I wasted not knowing that about my own," the user wrote.
Believe it or not, the trick to defrosting butter in the microwave has some pretty solid origins. Land O' Lakes lists it on its website as a quick-pinch method for softening butter to room temperature. "If you only want the butter to soften for spreading, microwave it on the Defrost setting (30%) in [five]-second increments until it's softened as desired," the company writes on its website. You'll know it's the perfect temperature when you can easily squish it between your thumb and forefinger.
Other Quick Ways To Soften Butter
There are a few other tried and true methods to quickly soften butter. One involves wax paper and a rolling pin. The idea is to create a thinner layer of butter that will come to room temperature more easily than a stick. It's simple enough: Put an unwrapped stick of butter between two pieces of wax paper and use the rolling pin to beat it down and roll it out into an even layer. When you're finished, peel away the top layer of wax paper and section off the amount of butter needed for your recipe.
Another method to soften butter is to give it a bath. Now, this doesn't mean you should plunge your cold butter into warm water — at least not directly — but employing a method similar to what's used to melt chocolate can be highly effective. Create a double boiler with two saucepans, the bottom one with some water in it, and add butter to the top one. Apply the heat and keep a watchful eye; there's only a few seconds difference between perfectly soft butter and a melted mess.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.