It always happens to me. I almost always have butter softening in the cupboard and I almost never need it but the moment I need soft butter I have none.
It’s such a bummer.
Here’s 3 ways to make hard butter spreadable in a panic (without using a microwave):
- Place it next to the stove and turn the stove on. This is the most effective but also the trickiest – it’s often messy and inconsistent (the butter closest to the element gets too soft and the rest is still solid). Not my preferred method.
- Grate frozen butter. I started grating butter when making pie crust; it’s amazing. The small pieces don’t exactly spread on toast (though they will if you leave them on the counter for a few minutes) but the pieces can easily be scattered and, as they melt, spread.
- Shave cold butter with a vegetable peeler. This works best with butter that’s been hardened in the fridge (frozen butter can be a little too hard for it). Long pieces can be shaved off and, after a few minutes of resting (I place it on top of the bread I want to spread it on), the temperature of the room will soften it and make it easy to spread. In the case of a grilled cheese you don’t have to wait – you can place it right in the pan.
What do you do when you’re in a butter panic?