It’s common knowledge that many baking recipes want you to have your eggs and butter at room temperature before you begin. It’s also common knowledge that the craving for chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes is known to strike without enough warning to leave your ingredients out on the counter all day. Often, I’ll just plow ahead with chilled eggs and butter, but usually I regret it.
To solve that problem, I usually submerge my eggs in warm tap water until I’m ready for them and cut the butter into smaller pieces so that it warms faster. Here, I’ve made the process even more efficient. The heat from the warm water softens the butter without melting it completely, and the plate beneath the butter traps the heat of the water in to more thoroughly warm the eggs. By the time I started in on my cupcakes, the butter was perfectly soft and the eggs were just subtly warm to the touch. This is a bonus, because cracking warmish eggs feels far less cold and wet and icky than doing the same with ones right out of the fridge.