Kitchen Hacks: How Clever Cooks Get Things Done:

Butter Basics: How to Quickly Soften Butter:

You. Need. Butter. Softened. Now. (And, it’s worth noting, not 30 minutes from now.) And you want to make butter soft without melting it, either.

What to do? America’s Test Kitchen’s John “Doc” Willoughby shows you how to soften butter immediately in the coolest (and easiest) way to do so.

Conventional wisdom calls for cooks to cut a cold, hard stick of butter into smaller pieces to promote swifter softening—as more surface area is exposed, the butter softens more quickly. It works, but our method is faster. Simply take a stick of butter, place it inside a food storage bag, and beat it with a rolling pin. Not only is this the most efficient way to quickly soften butter, it’s also oddly therapeutic.

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