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Color-changing butter tray works like magic

The Taylor TEMPerfect Butter Tray changes from orange to white when removed from the fridge. The visual cue helps determine when the butter is ready for spreading.

No sleight of hand necessary with the Taylor TEMPerfect Butter Tray.
No sleight of hand necessary with the Taylor TEMPerfect Butter Tray. Sur La Table

We hardly think about it, perhaps because it happens on a regular basis, but everything we do in the kitchen is about change. That big metal box that opens and closes is the center of it all. No, not the refrigerator -- that's probably the one thing in the kitchen designed to stop change. The other big metal thing in the kitchen is the bringer of change: the oven. We put ingredients in, and out comes food. It's almost like magic.

If there is magic to be had in the kitchen, it will require ingredients. When it comes to baking, often that ingredient is butter. The Taylor TEMPerfect Butter Tray ($13) brings its own kind of magic to the kitchen -- changing colors depending on the temperature.

Disguised as an unextraordinary one-stick butter tray, the everyday kitchen item hides its true colors until it's called into action. The show starts in the fridge, where the tray is orange; when removed, the tray turns white as it warms to room temperature.

Depending on the application, temperature does matter. When working with dough it is often preferable to have cold butter, while having butter that is easily spreadable is a magic trick every toast eater can appreciate.