NEW BAKING TRICK: When you need softened butter - grate the butter while it is still hard, then mix with other ingredients as normal. It will soften quickly and perfectly and give an even dispersal of butter throughout the dough.
Softening Secret -- When you're ready to bake, waiting for cold butter to soften can seem to take forever. Here's how to hurry the process along: Over a mixing bowl, shred the amount of butter you need on a grater. The little pieces will soften faster than a solid stick. In no time, the butter will be bake-worthy.