It's free and helps you cut down on waste, too!
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Everyone has different holiday traditions, but for many of us, the holiday season includes baking. Like, a lot of baking. Whether it's for a local fundraiser or family gathering, many of us are turning our ovens on a little more than usual. Hand-held treats like muffins and cupcakes are perfect for groups, but the pans can sometimes be a pain to work with. Tired of getting cooking spray everywhere or of having baked goods get stuck? Our Test Kitchen has just the hack for you. 

Our Senior Food Editor, Devon O'Brien, simplifies holiday baking by saving her butter papers. (Yep, you read that right!) O'Brien says, "There's always a bit of butter lingering behind on the paper when you peel it off—especially if your butter was softened. I hate to see that goodness go to waste, so I use the buttery papers to grease my pans. If I'm making something like cake or muffins, I'll use the papers right away to grease the tins. But if I'm making something like cookies (that don't need a greased baking vessel) I fold the papers in half so the butter is safely enclosed inside and stick them in a Stasher bag in my freezer—this way I always have some on hand whenever I have a pan that needs greasing!" 

Woman kneading dough on the wooden table
Credit: Getty Images / Kerkez

Not only does this give your butter papers another use, but also it's totally free (once you have the butter). Plus, think of all of the cooking spray you'll save! Butter papers can be folded and take up very space in your freezer. Just be sure to place them in a sealed bag or reusable container (like this Stasher bag; $9.99 at Williams Sonoma) to prevent freezer burn. 

We can't believe we've never tried this baking hack before—especially considering the amount of butter we've used over the holiday season! Next time we're making our Apple-Spice Cupcakes, we will be sure to keep our butter papers at the ready.