Q. If I need to do some last-minute baking for a holiday party, what are some tips for quickly softening butter?

A. I love last minute holiday get-togethers but know how stressful baking cookies or other treats on the fly can be. Have no fear. There are many butter softening tricks you can use to bake delicious and festive cookies, cakes and breads that will delight your friends and family during the holidays. Try these simple tips:

•  Cut the butter into small cubes and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.

•  Put the butter in a plastic bag or between two sheets of wax paper and roll it with a rolling pin until it’s softened.

•  Use a cheese grater to shred the butter into small pieces and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften.

•  Put a warm glass over the butter to help soften it.