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Jennifer Garner Has A Genius Way Of Softening Her Butter

Who knew Garner was such a baking whiz?

Jennifer Garner — the beloved actress known as Sydney Bristow, Elektra, or the 13-year-old who magically transformed into an adult overnight — is pretty outspoken about her love of cooking and baking.

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She frequently posts clips of herself in the kitchen on Instagram that are equal parts informative and hilarious.

One of her recent baking adventures she shared was an early morning bake that demonstrated her clever trick for softening butter — a crucial ingredient for things like cookies, cakes, and even muffins.

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Instead of freaking out when she realized she needed softened butter that she didn't plan for, she simply grabbed a cheese grater. 👀

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Garner grated the stick of butter just like a block of cheese — using the large side of the grater — and the resulting shreds were soft, slightly warmed, and perfect for baking with.

The hack cuts out the often overlooked time needed to soften butter. And in the words of Garner herself: "It's not softened, but it's softened-like." (Which is better than cold or melted!)

The warmth of your hands combined with the friction of grating it results in softened butter shreds that work just fine when you're in a pinch.

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If you don't have a box grater, you could also use a zester or Microplane. Although that would probably take a rather long time to grate. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Oh, and if you need a quick refresher as to why softened butter is so important, here it is:

DreamWorks Pictures

THE SCIENCE: Softened butter allows small pockets of air to get trapped when creaming it with sugar. This leavens the cookies (aka adds volume) and makes them fluffy. If you use butter that's too soft (such as butter that has been microwaved), it can actually do the opposite and prevent air from getting trapped. And if you were to use cold butter, it would be too rigid.

Long story short: Softening butter is important!

So there you have it! Perfectly softened butter in no time at all! Thanks Jen!

Columbia Pictures

And if you're looking for more helpful cooking hacks, check out these posts:

26 Cooking Hacks Everyone Should Know About

16 Time-Saving Cooking Hacks That Actually Work

21 Kitchen Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

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