How long do you recommend the cold butter sit at room temp?

Bien Cuit Shortbread
Recipe question for: Bien Cuit Shortbread


Lori T. May 24, 2019
It depends on the temperature of your kitchen and fridge. Usually a stick of butter fresh from the fridge is soft enough to use in about 30 minutes. You don't want it so soft that you can leave more than a fingertip impression on the surface. If you want to hasten matters, try grating it cold into the bowl. Usually that will leave it just right for creaming.
renee9605 May 24, 2019
Thank you, thirty minutes is totally do-able!
Smaug May 24, 2019
The intention is apparently to get the butter soft enough to easily combine with the dry ingredients; "room temperature" is pretty vague, as is refrigerator temp. and other factors, but it should probably get soft enough to easily poke a finger through it.
renee9605 May 24, 2019
Thanks! I have made countless recipes where the butter is supposed to be "softened," but I didn't get the impression that it should be as soft as I usually allow for "softened" butter recipes.
tia May 25, 2019
I had assumed that I was supposed to take the butter out, cut it into pieces, and then measure the dry ingredients. Then immediately add the butter. So I only let it sit for a few minutes. But I have a stand mixer so it will pretty much mix anything. I hope that helps!
Smaug May 26, 2019
Like a cookie, you don't want to overwork the dough- the butter contains enough moisture to raise gluten in the flour. If you don't want to soften the butter (I usually take it right from the refrigerator for cookies) I would beat it with the sugar and salt enough to lighten it up before adding the flour.
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