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Old 12-18-2010, 07:18 PM   #1
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Butter question, softened or melted?

If a recipe calls for softened butter, what could be the effect of using melted butter instead ? ... I am talking about a recipe for things like a cookie, or a bar/crust ...

A friend of mine always keeps her butter in the freezer and takes it out one stick at a time as needed. When baking, she has to take the butter directly from the freezer (nothing like planning ahead), which is a long way from softened. So, she melts the butter in the microwave for nearly all recipes that require more than a tablespoon or two of butter.

Some things just never turn out right and I was wondering if using melted butter instead of softened butter could be the cause ??

Is there an optimum temperature for softened butter ??

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Old 12-18-2010, 07:34 PM   #2
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Yes, that could be the problem. Softened butter is often whipped together with sugar in a process called 'creaming'. This whips air bubbles into the butter which expand when heated and add lift to the cookie. With melted butter, there is no possibility of accomplishing this.

Butter is 'softened' when it's entirely at room temperature.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:20 PM   #3
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Agreed. Leave butter overnight at room temperature. Melting butter will not be the same result.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:40 PM   #4
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Butter can be thawed and warmed in the microwave, if it is done slowly and carefully. Watch out for sections that melt before the rest of the butter softens. Stir them back in.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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To bring a chilled stick of butter (from the fridge itself) to room temp., microwave for 10 -15 seconds. It works great AND I believe I may have picked up that tip here.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:40 AM   #6
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One great thing about living in the Phlippines in a house that is (mostly) non-air-conditioned. When I need to soften butter for a recipe I only have to take it from the fridge and leave it on the counter for about 20 minutes.

Softened butter (rather than melted) makes a huge difference in the texture of many baked goods. I used to make the same mistake but not anymore.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmarchibald View Post
One great thing about living in the Phlippines in a house that is (mostly) non-air-conditioned. When I need to soften butter for a recipe I only have to take it from the fridge and leave it on the counter for about 20 minutes.

Softened butter (rather than melted) makes a huge difference in the texture of many baked goods. I used to make the same mistake but not anymore.
Even in Missoula, Montana...my butter can liquify sitting on the counter, usually in the summer. Watch ambient room temperature when softening butter! I've also had days I couldn't get it to soften sitting out.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:13 PM   #8
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Unfortunatelly there is no good way to worm up frozen butter. The only way is to plan ahead, otherwise you are corect, you are not going to get good result.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AnnieDrews View Post
To bring a chilled stick of butter (from the fridge itself) to room temp., microwave for 10 -15 seconds. It works great AND I believe I may have picked up that tip here.
Thats what i do too,all the time, and it works perfectly for me! what softened butter can do in a recipe,melted butter cant achieve it.Similarly some recipes require melted butter like chewy brownies,that chewiness wont come with soft butter.Both have different functions.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:25 PM   #10
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There is a proven method to defrost frozen meats that would work to defrost/soften butter as well. Place the butter (or meat to be defrosted) on a heavy aluminum pan. The great conductivity of the aluminum will speed the softening of the butter. Turning the stick of butter regularly so a different side is in contact with the pan speeds it up too.
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