If you're anything like me, you'll start prepping to make a baked good (or another recipe calling for softened butter) and realize that all you've got is a hard stick of butter. I hate to put my high quality organic butter in the microwave...I'm paranoid I'm going to kill all that's healthy in it by doing so. Putting it in the toaster oven works but it can take awhile and sometimes, it melts it rather than softening it.
So, I came up with this solution and it works wonderfully! Here's how you achieve soft butter - quickly and naturally.
Remember: Do this FIRST thing, so that while you prep everything else, your butter is softening and by time you need it, it will be ready.
Take the amount of butter that you need to soften and place it in a ziploc bag. Make sure it is sealed tightly. Get a wide mouth quart size jar and place the bagged butter inside. Fill up the jar with hot water and let sit on counter, rotating the butter half way while prepping other ingredients. Take the butter out of the jar and out of the bag and VOILA - soft butter for your recipe!