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How to soften butter to room temp when your house is kept cool?

Hi! So, I am preparing to bake some cookies this afternoon and the recipe calls for 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened, which I take to mean room temp. Well, we keep our house at about 64 degrees when home, cooler when we're out. The last time I left butter on the counter for over a day, it was barely "softened"and creaming it with sugar was not so easy. Any suggestions? (We don't have a microwave).
Thanks!

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  1. My advice would be to cut the butter up into small pats and put it in the bowl where you will be creaming it. It will certainly be workable by this afternoon. Alternately, you might search out cookies that use melted butter!

    2 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      yeah, i do that a lot!! recently, i made some oatmeal cookies out of Joy of Cooking and accidentally melted the butter all the way, instead of softening it. Well, the cookies turned out to be so crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, they were wonderful! So next time I'll just melt it again!

      1. re: saintp

        My friend and I did this in 6 th grade. Heated the butter in the microwave, stirred in the chocolate chip which also immediately melted. The cookies were good even if not what we were aiming for.

    2. Sometimes I stick the butter on top of the stove while it preheats, occasionally (if I forget to take the butter out of the freezer) I put it, still wrapped, in the oven for a very short time during the preheating. Also, if you cut it into chunks, it will soften quicker.

      2 Replies
      1. re: elfcook

        If it is just out of the freezer, you could shred it with a cheese grater which is a bit easier than cutting into chunks.

        1. re: Cathy

          +1 on using a box grater. Not only will it soften quicker, but the smaller bits will cream like a dream, too.

      2. you can sit it on a plate over a bowl of very hot water, cut up or grated.

        1. We don't have a microwave either.
          What I do is fill a bowl or cup (depending on volume of butter) with boiling water.
          I leave for 5 mins and then discard the water and place upside down over the butter (on a plate obviously) until it softens.
          It's probably best to warm the plate your'e putting the butter on by running it under warm water if this is going to be quire cold.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Paprikaboy

            i like those 2 suggestions....right now i have the butter cut up in a bowl, with the bowl set over a heating grate....just have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't start to melt. although at 64 degrees, that could be a while!

          2. I sometimes put a stick of butter in a ziploc bag, then let the bag hang out in the hottest water that comes out of your faucet (in a pan or bigger bowl).