Beating butter with sugar is a key step in so many baking recipes. This process, called creaming, creates air pockets in the butter that give you tender cookies and cakes. But, if your butter is too cold (or too melted), it won't aerate and you may end up with dense desserts. You could plan ahead and leave your butter on the counter until it has reached room temperature, but sometimes even we forget! Here is our favorite speedy way to soften butter for baking.