Pipe Dream #15: To Be A Microwave Maven

A few days ago, I softened butter just right. Sometimes, I get lazy and don’t soften things as I should. In light of this, I have decided to post a full-blown tutorial. I  know. And you’re saying, “It has been done so many times, Lauren! Why don’t you just leave it to the pros, like Pioneer Woman?”
To which I say, I can blog a tutorial if I want to. So read on, unless you are now engrossed in PW’s website. I really should do an ode to PW at some point, I try enough of her sa-weet recipes.
The following is my general procedure when softening butter in The Apartment Microwave:
I keep the butter in it’s wrapping. If you don’t melt the butter, the wrapper actually keeps the butter in pretty well, makes for less cleanup later and (bonus!), it won’t blow up in the microwave like aluminum foil or forks. Did you know it is bad news to put forks in the microwave? It is. I’ve never done that before.
I could mess around with power levels on the microwave, but I’m too lazy, so I just keep it at 100 percent and set the timer for 30 seconds. Depending on the amount of butter you use, you might need to use more or less time. In this case, I used two sticks.
Let the microwave run for about 5 seconds–just in case! Then poke the butter.
Does it feel soft? No? Then flip the butter to another side to guard against melty spots, and let it go for another five seconds. Keep flipping and poking until the butter yields a a bit but is not melted.
This maybe seems a little tedious, but I guess it is less tedious than staring at a stick of butter for a couple hours, waiting for it to lose its refrigerator memory.
Note: I when R and I went up north last time, we found a book from the 80s all about cooking in microwaves. Pot roast, brownies, jello salad. You name it, it was in there. I’m real real sorry I don’t have a picture; it was priceless. Super weird, though. Please never bake a cake in the microwave.
Other side note: I realize that this post should be titled “What Do You Think I Am, Lauren–Stupid?” You probably know how to use a microwave. I just needed a little boost today. At least I can say that I have achieved one of my pipe dreams–to be a microwave maven.
Carry on,

5 Responses to “Pipe Dream #15: To Be A Microwave Maven”

  1. 1 Micke May 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I remember a cooking book like that! I think my mom got one with the first microwave she bought.
    I remember back then we really did use the microwave oven to cook a LOT of things! -And yes, we even baked a cake in it…that didn’t taste too shabby either! :)

    /Micke – Umea, Sweden

  2. 2 sannekurz May 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    In Europe we get butter packed in aluminium foil coated paper – remove packing before microwaving :)

  3. 3 The Writer May 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Actually, there are a lot of microwave cake recipes floating around in the blogosphere. Useful when you want just one serving, and you want it NOW.

    That said, I’ve never actually tried one of those recipes because it really doesn’t take much longer to just mix and bake an actual cake or a batch of cupcakes. Rewards are much better that way, anyway.

  4. 4 Jamie May 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Did you know that butter comes in a different size stick on the west coast then on the east? I’m still on the look out for a butter dish to hold my fat/short stick of butter. It makes a mess if you don’t get the lid on just right. :)

  5. 5 ashleetaylormarketing May 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Lauren,

    I found your blog because it came up on the WordPress homepage with the recipe for the oatmeal cream pies. I tried the cream pies today and they were wonderful! The cookies were soft and moist and the butter cream was fantastic! My husband barely has a sweet tooth and he raved about them!

    I also read your Microwave post and I tried your trick and it worked really well! I usually just open the stick, put it in a bowl and start the microwave. Leaving it in the wrapper and turning it every five seconds worked great. Thanks for the tip!

    I absolutely love your blog! And I think your “About Me” section is beautiful! I feel the same way about God’s grace in my weakness.

    I know this is a little random but I love to bake too, so new recipes always intrigue me.

    Keep posting them! :)


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