Tina's Tuesday Tip: Softening

Have you ever noticed that many baking recipes call for "softened" butter or "softened" cream cheese? Through trial and error I have a few tips for you.

#1 DO NOT ignore this instruction... unless you don't mind lumpy cheesecake or frosting (YUCK!)

#2 Room Temperature. This does not mean on a 98 degree summer day. IF you remember ahead of time, leave your ingredient on the counter to come to soften. So many of my sweet cravings ambush me and attack quickly, that I often microwave the ingredient using the defrost feature and checking on it frequently.

#3 The Pinching Test. This is how I can tell if my ingredient is ready. If it leaves a little indent with a little love pinch (on all sides), it's ready. If you've gone too far and melted the ingredient DO NOT try to use it, save it for a cooking recipe rather than a baking recipe.

#4 DO NOT use spreadable margarine. It will ruin most recipes!

#5 If your recipe calls for an ingredient at room temperature, I suggest having your eggs at room temperature also. If you use eggs right out of the refrigerator the eggs may lower the temperature of the butter and reverse the "softening" you've now perfected.

Have any of you had trouble with softening or have other tips to share? Leave me a comment, I always love more tips!



thanks for the great tips! I pretty much have messed up on all of those and didn't know it mattered! like melting the butter too much and still using it. so thanks! you are amazing!


Geez, now I know why my treats don't come out as good as yours. I've broken all of those rules several times! Good tips, maybe my cookies will come out a little better next time. :)