The Loudest Way To Soften Butter Is Perhaps The Most Fun

If you do a lot of baking, you likely know there are many recipes that call for softened butter. Not melted. Softened. Sure, you can leave the butter out on the counter an hour before starting the recipe, but what if you forgot and are now pressed for time? You have a few options. 

You can use margarine instead of butter, but then the cookies won't taste as great as when real butter is used. You might also consider warming the butter in the microwave, but you could end up with melted butter instead of softened butter. Then the process will take even longer because you'll have to wait for the butter to harden to room temperature.

While all of these methods are effective and can work just fine for most recipes, there's another option for softening butter that you might find far more enjoyable. It's probably also the loudest. And the most therapeutic.

It's the closest you'll get to playing whack-a-mole in your kitchen

So what's this loud, fun way of softening butter? Pounding and flattening it. With this method, you can have soft butter in a few minutes or less. Land O'Lakes provides the steps. "Place the butter stick in a resealable plastic bag or between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper." Then, use a rolling pin to pound the butter like you're playing a whack-a-mole game at the arcade.

Jessica Gavin, a certified culinary scientist and author, provides a quick demonstration on her YouTube channel. After the first hit, the butter should flatten into a circular shape in the bag, or between the parchment papers. You can also use a meat pounder in place of the rolling pin, according to Allrecipes. The friction created by pounding and rolling the dough creates warmth, which softens the butter.

Gavin adds that the larger surface area of your kitchen counter or table helps warm the butter to a temperature of about 65-67 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for baking. So the next time you need softened butter for your recipe — and need to release some pent-up anger — try the pounding method. Just make sure to not hit the butter too hard.