Question: When a recipe tells you to cream butter (or cream butter and sugar together), what do I do?

Answer: Creaming means to beat the dickens out of it. The butter should be at room temperature; if you haven’t planned ahead, heat the butter in the microwave until it just gives a bit when you press it with a finger. In my microwave, that means 20 seconds at 40 percent power for a whole stick of butter. Then, with a mixer or a wooden spoon and strong arm, beat the butter (and sugar, if called for) until it’s creamy, smooth, light and fluffy; it will turn a paler shade of yellow.

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