There never seems to be enough time to get everything done that we want to during the holidays. Even when we work to simplify things, it can still get hectic this time of year. If you do a lot of baking, you know one of the things that seems to take forever is letting butter soften. It’s so simple to do – just take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for an hour, but sometimes you don’t have that hour.

Putting it in the microwave never achieves good results. Part of it gets soft, but part of it melts, too, and melted butter creates a different texture in baked goods than softened butter. So, what can you do to speed the butter softening process? Try one of these ideas.

  1. Put the butter between two pieces of wax paper (or reuse the bag from a cereal box) and roll it out with a rolling pin to soften it. Simply Recipes has more specific instructions on how to do this.
  2. Cut the butter into smaller chunks. The Kitchn says the smaller chunks will soften more quickly than a whole stick. They offer a few other suggestions, too.
  3. Grate it straight from the refrigerator. Martha Stewart says it will then soften quickly. This is probably your best bet for butter that comes straight from the freezer, too.
  4. Put a stick in a Ziploc bag and place the bag between your cleavage. Hey, I’m just the messenger; the message is coming from Culinate. Apparently, if your cleavage is ample enough, the butter will be soft in 10 minutes!

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

4 ways to soften cold butter, including how to do it with your breasts
These methods will cut 45 minutes or more off of the time it takes to soften butter for your baking needs. Men can only use three of them.