Jennifer Garner’s Trick for Softening Butter Is Absolutely Genius


This hack is about to seriously improve your baking game.

Photo: PEOPLE Magazine / Jennifer Garner

This story originally appeared on by Lauren Wicks.

Jennifer Garner is the latest and greatest celebrity to dabble in the cooking world, with her adorable (and relatable) “#PretendCookingShow” videos on Instagram. She recently lived out her culinary dreams by getting in the kitchen with her cooking inspiration, Ina Garten, on a holiday episode of “Cook Like a Pro.” We’re always excited to learn about Garner’s lifestyle tips, whether it’s her go-to salad recipe or secret to youthful skin, and we were thrilled to discover her latest hack.

Related: Healthy Cookie Recipes

Garner posted an early morning baking venture yesterday, where she made Rose Beranbaum’s chocolate bread recipe from The Bread Bible. Garner set out all of the necessary ingredients and tools the night before to prep for a 5:30 a.m. baking session, but she forgot to do one thing—soften the butter!

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This time of year it is extra cozy to send kids to school with something warm in their bellies. My kids feel extra cozy about @realbakingwithrose’s chocolate bread. This recipe isn’t crazy sweet and, with a good swish of peanut butter, is just the thing for my early rising middle schooler. You can find the full episode on IGTV. #PretendCookingShow #bangwentthecabinet #😡😩🤦🏻‍♀️wentmybrain #hurryupchristmas🤶🏻 . #TheBreadBible Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread Ingredients: 3 Tbs plus 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder 3 Tbs boiling water 1/2 Tbs pure vanilla extract 3 large eggs 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar 3/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 13 Tbs unsalted butter, softened 3 Tbs chocolate mini chips or bittersweet chocolate (chopped) . Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350F. 2. Whisk cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature, then gently whisk in vanilla and eggs. 3. In a mixer bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add half the chocolate paste and the butter and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add remaining chocolate paste in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the bowl. Fold in chocolate mini chips/chopped chocolate. 4. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. 5. Bake for 50-60 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 200F. (The bread shouldn’t start to shrink from the sides of the pan until after removal from the oven.) 6. Set the bread on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread and invert onto an oiled wire rack. Reinvert so it is top side up and cool completely.

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Garner remained calm, cool, and collected as usual and reached for her cheese grater to solve the problem. She grated the remaining stick of butter (like you would a block of cheese) and tossed it right into the mixing bowl. While we had heard of this 10 minute butter softening hack, Garner’s hack is perfect for baking in a pinch.

Want more of Jennifer Garner’s kitchen tips and tricks?

Now that the holidays right around the corner, it’s important to have a few hacks under your belt when baking for cookie swaps, cocktail parties, and big family gatherings. If you’re feeling inspired, we have over 100 healthy holiday cookie recipes, as well as a host of delicious Christmas morning treats, so you can bake like Garner all month long.

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