combines sugar with butter or margarine. The sugar's sharp
particles cut into the butter, introducing air bubbles. It
is the most important step for cookies and cakes because
it allows them to rise.
Cube the butter before
following these steps.
Tip: Use a wet
towel to stop the bigger bowl from moving when
stirring. Wrap it around the base of the larger bowl.
- Fill a large bowl to
half volume with hot water from the tap. Use a smaller
bowl to hold butter, and sugar.
- Put the smaller bowl
into the large one and let butter soften for a minute,
mixing constantly with a wooden spoon. Do not allow
the butter to melt. After the mixture seems easier to
mix, remove the smaller bowl and empty the larger
- Fill the larger bowl
with cold water until the outside of the bowl is cold.
- Put the bowls back
together, and beat with the wooden spoon until the
mixture has changed color and texture.
Use hand beaters to soften
the butter first on low, then increase to medium. Add in
sugar, eggs, and vanilla or cream of tartar in this order.
Scrape the sides often. Beat until the mixture has changed
color and texture (don't over beat!)