So many recipes call for softened butter, but who has the time these days to wait for two sticks to reach room temperature? Connie does (we pay her for that), but we don't. Next time you need to thaw your butter in a flutter, you have two options. The first is the obvious idea of sticking it in the microwave. Zap it on low for 20 second intervals. The butter is ready when it is malleable but not runny. The second idea is to take the sticks and cut them into small chunks and set them on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare other ingredients. The smaller size and additional surface area will help the butter warm to room temperature quickly!