Use good quality unsalted butter. That way you can control the amount of salt in your recipes. If a recipe calls for softened butter – it means softened, not melted. Butter should be malleable – not so soft it looks greasy. Leave out for 20-30 minutes before you bake for best results. If you leave out too long, your cookies will spread and flatten. If you must, microwave on defrost on lowest setting for very short spurts until just soft. Don’t rush the “creaming the butter” stage in cookies and cakes. It is vital in making a light and fluffy batter or dough.