I current to you two equally irritating butter-based baking situations. Within the first, it’s 8 p.m. on a chilly winter night time and also you wish to make vacation cookies, however the butter is frozen, and even should you transfer it to the counter now, it received’t be room temperature for, um, three years. Within the second, you wish to make pie on the most well liked day of the summer time, however the butter begins melting as quickly as you’re taking it out of the fridge (and contemplating that the important thing to flaky crust is chilly butter, you’re doomed). Name it the Rule of Butter: It doesn’t matter what you wish to bake, butter won’t ever be on the right temperature.
Enter, from stage proper, melted butter. It may be produced from rock-solid butter and droopy-oozy butter alike, and in a matter of minutes. Melted butter can be included right into a batter or dough with only a spatula—no have to dig out the pastry cutter or stand mixer.
It’s as a result of melted butter is so low-maintenance—fast to make, simple to make use of—that it’s a vital ingredient in Jessie Sheehan’s new cookbook Snackable Bakes, through which the entire recipes could be ready in 20 minutes. “I’m all the time fascinated with time and velocity and the right way to make a dessert as simple and as rapidly as doable,” Sheehan tells me. “So I’m the one who will develop a recipe beginning with melted butter. And if it could possibly work, I’m going there.” Inside the e book, Sheehan “goes there” with peanut butter cookies, shortbread, and desserts—all of which regularly name for creaming room-temp butter with sugar till fluffy. And, get this, she even makes use of melted butter in her Best Ever Crust. A typical pie dough recipe will instruct you to rub chilly butter into flour earlier than rapidly stirring in chilly water and giving the combination time to relax and hydrate, however Sheehan’s model takes about 5 minutes: Stir collectively flour, sugar, and baking powder, combine in melted butter and milk, after which press it into the pie plate. You don’t even have to get out a rolling pin.
In fact, melted butter can’t obtain precisely what chilly butter can. Within the case of pie dough, chilly butter steams within the oven, creating the air pockets that make for flaky layers; melted butter, however, creates a young, extra shortbread-like crust—buttery and scrumptious all the identical, however firmer and extra compact. In recipes that depend on creamed butter for construction, like desserts and cookies, melted butter received’t present the identical fluffiness. “Whereas you will get away with melted fats in additional locations than you’ll assume,” says Sheehan, who has even tried it in scones and biscuits, it’s about “managing your expectations.” Your pie crust might not prove as flaky as one you’ve rested and folded, however what you lose in a number of, shattering layers you’ll save in time. And, typically, melted butter truly produces a extra fascinating texture. If, for instance, the thought of a cakey or fluffy cookie makes you cringe, hunt down recipes that decision for melted butter, which produces denser, lower-profile outcomes.
However what concerning the circumstances the place you actually do want room temperature butter, like buttercream? Sheehan is a giant advocate of the microwave. Place an unwrapped complete stick of butter straight out of your fridge within the microwave and warmth in 10-second increments, flipping it over to a brand new facet between zaps till it’s comfortable sufficient to yield simply to your fingertip. See? There’s all the time a quicker method.