10/14/2014 09:03 am ET

A Butter Tray That Can Make You A Better Baker

Sur La Table

If we had a nickel for every time we heard "cooking is a science, baking is an art," we would be rich. RICH. Everyone knows that baking is about precision. It requires measuring cups, tablespoons and even digital scales. It's calculated, down to the second. But sometimes, baking demands a precision that can't always be measured, like with butter.

In baking, butter is either supposed to be really, really cold (for things like puff pastry) or used at room temperature, crucial for great chocolate chip cookies. Getting butter to be really cold is easy -- just pop the stick in the freezer for a couple of minutes. But figuring out when it's reached room temperature -- like, just right -- well, that's a little trickier. How do you know what room temperature looks like? How do you make sure it doesn't go past room temperature into a melted mess? It's kind of an issue. People have made videos about it. Cookies have been ruined over it. But those days are over people, and it's all thanks to technology -- butter technology.

The good folks at Sur La Table have put the guessing game out of room-temperature butter with the Taylor TEMPerfect Butter Tray. The smart tray is white when the butter is cold, and turns orange when it reaches room temperature. It's like a mood ring for your stick of butter. And it costs about the same too, $13 for your very own smarter-than-you butter tray.

It's a brave new world -- and baking just got easier.

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