The Trick To Keeping Brown Sugar Soft
It’s happened to you before. You’ve stumbled across an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe. You scroll the ingredient list and see that it calls for brown sugar. You know it’s in the cupboard somewhere, and after a few minutes of searching, there it is. There’s only one problem. It’s been awhile since you’ve used it and it’s hard as a rock. Good thing we’ve rounded up a few surefire ways to keep brown sugar soft so that you’ll never have to put your baking on hold again.
When brown sugar is exposed to air, the molasses in it quickly loses moisture. This is what causes the sugar crystals to stick to each other and harden . To keep this from happening, all you need are a few simple ingredients. You most likely have at least one of them already in your kitchen.
Food52 recommends putting a slice of bread in with your brown sugar after opening it. Brown sugar isn’t picky either. You can use anything from a pre-sliced supermarket loaf, to a slice of homemade bread, to a fancy chunk of French bread. The brown sugar will pull the moisture from the bread to keep it soft. The same goes for marshmallows and apple slices, which will actually soften hardened sugar after a day or two .
Now you won’t have to be disappointed the next time you’re ready to bake something sweet that calls for brown sugar. Put any of these tips to the test and no matter how long between baking you go, your brown sugar should be soft and ready to use.
How To Soften Brown Sugar In The Microwave
You might need to use a fork to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Also take care not to overdo it, or youll melt the sugar. And youll want to use the sugar fairly quickly after letting it cool.
Use this method if you need your brown sugar softened quickly. Otherwise, keep scrolling for some other methods, including my favorite method for keeping brown sugar soft.
Consider A Wet Paper Towel
To keep your brown sugar from hardening. store in plastic container and leave a slightly moistened paper towel on top of the brown sugar and place plastic lid over it. Always ready to use.
Jen said:Last night I put a damp paper towel on top of a piece of aluminum foil in my sugar jar. This morning it was all nice and ready for a baking spree. I knew it would work but didnt realize how fast. All the sugar was so packed I couldnt even scrape nor stab it loose with a fork last night.
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Use A Damp Towel To Make Brown Sugar Soft
Take a kitchen towel and dampen it well. Wring out the towel as that you have removed as much of the excess water as possible.
Place hardened brown sugar in a bowl and place the dampened towel over it so that the top of the bowl is completely covered but the towel does not touch the brown sugar.
Allow the covered brown sugar to sit on the counter over night and the brown sugar will be soft in the morning.
This also works if you store your brown sugar in canisters with air tight lids. In this case, cover the top surface of the container with plastic wrap and the add the dampened towel over the top of the wrap. Leave it over night to soften.
Softening Brown Sugar With Marshmallows
Those fluffy and MOIST nuggets are not just for making smores! If you have a container of brown sugar that is hard, add two or three plump marshmallows to the sealed container.
Seal tightly and check in a couple of days to make sure that the sugar has absorbed the moisture and is soft again.
Work the sugar with a knife to remove any clumps and tightly reseal the container. The sugar should remain soft.
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How To Soften Brown Sugar In The Oven:
To soften brown sugar in the oven, place the hardened pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the brown sugar in the oven and warm at 250 degrees. Check on the brown sugar every couple minutes or so and break it up with a fork until soft. Allow the brown sugar to cool slightly before trying to use it in a recipe. Remember, you don’t want to cook or melt the brown sugar, you just want to soften itso don’t try to speed up the process by raising the temperature of the oven.
How To Soften Brown Sugar Using Bread Or Apple Slices
This one may seem a bit odd, but just go with it. Place your hardened brown sugar in a sealable plastic bag or an airtight container. Place a slice of fresh soft bread or a few apple slices in the container with the brown sugar. Cover it tightly and leave overnight.
Check the brown sugar for softness the next morning. If necessary, seal the container again and check again after a few hours. Be sure to remove the bread or apples!
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How To Make And Store Brown Sugar
Keep scrolling to learn how to make brown sugar in less than 5 minutes and my trick for keeping it perfectly soft and lump-free. Plus some interesting science tips about brown sugar in baking!
Yield:1 Recipe can make any amount needed
I love brown sugar.
Is that a weird thing to state? The more complex butterscotch sweetness it gives baked goods like cookies is just dreamy. Not to mention its actually more hygroscopic than granulated sugar, which is just a fancy scientific way of saying it attracts and retains more moisture. That means baked goods made with the stuff arent just more flavorful, but theyre more moist and tender!
I created a quick yet informative video below that shows you how to DIY brown sugar right in your own kitchen!
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Dorie Greenspan’s Secret Ingredient For The Chewiest Chocolate Chip Cookies
How can you prevent this scenario from happening again? There are many tips out there , but the most effective method for me comes down to this incredibly simple, hands-off trick: stick a piece of fresh bread in your brown sugar container once you’ve opened it.
I don’t usually decant my brown sugar , but I’ll go the extra step of storing the sugar in its bag in an airtight container in the fridge. I guess I use a two-pronged approach here with the bread and refrigerator, but I’m telling youit works!
I’ve used everything from the pre-sliced supermarket variety to fancier boules, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter much what kind of bread you use. A simple little corner from any loaf of bread will do, giving the brown sugar just enough moisture to prevent it from turning into a rock-solid block.
And if you, like me, have already encountered this roadblock mid-recipe , don’t despair: There’s still hope for you yet. Here are a few last-minute tricks for you to try:
How do you keep your brown sugar from hardening into a brick? Let us know below!
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How To Soften Hard Brown Sugar: A Head
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It’s happened to all of us : We’ve reached into the pantry for cookie ingredients only to discover that our brown sugar is no longer scoopable and siftable, but rather depressingly rock solid. Half-heartedly scratching at the outer edges of the mass only shaves off a few grains at a time, so we’re forced to face the music: for cookie o’clock to proceed as scheduled, we have to buy another bag.
Brown sugar dries out when exposed to air for too long, losing all of the moisture that its molasses content provides and transforming from wet sand to a sweet, unusable brick. The phenomenon is so ubiquitousthe result of plastic bags that aren’t fully sealed and cardboard boxes left cracked open at the cornersthat googling how to soften hard brown sugar yields pages of results. But from the numerous tips and techniques presented, it’s tough to pick a way to proceed confusing instructions and long estimated times have led me to throw away more than a few dumb heavy blocks of sugar.
To put the how to soften hard brown sugar issue to rest and curb my sugar waste, I tried five of the most commonly recommended methods, using easy to find tools and common kitchen ingredients. One technique clearly came out on top, and armed with this information , I’m never going to have to postpone cookie-making again.
S To Soften Brown Sugar
Now you know how to keep brown sugar soft, but despite your best intentions, you may open up your cupboard to discover the dreaded hard brown sugar. Its not too late, though!
There are a few methods for softening brown sugar that has gone hard. Because the sugar went hard due to lack of moisture, the strategies for softening it again involve returning moisture to the sugar.
Heat is one way to get some moisture back in the sugar: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, put the sugar into a pan and heat until the sugar softens. Keep in mind that the sugar will harden again as it cools, so plan to use it before that happens.
You can also soften brown sugar in the microwave. Put the sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with two pieces of moist paper towel. Microwave it in 15- to 20-second bursts, checking after each time the microwave stops to see if it has returned to the state you prefer and to break up any clumps. Dont leave sugar in for too long at a time, though, or you may end up cooking it.
If you have a little more time and dont need your sugar softened immediately, you can also return it to a soft state by soaking a piece of terra cotta in water for about 20-30 minutes. Then, place the sugar in an airtight container with the terra cotta for about a day. The sugar will absorb the moisture from the terra cotta.
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How To Salvage That Brick Of Sugar
Okay so now we get to the situation where you have this brick of brown sugar. No way to use it as is. There are several methods you can employ. The science is we need to re-introduce moisture back into the sugar. So try one of the following methods:
1. You can put the brick of sugar in an airtight container, then add a slice of bread with it. Put the lid on and let sit for about 24 hours. Voila, the sugar will pull moisture from the bread slice and soften up the sugar. Isn’t that awesome?
2. Similar to number one, but you use a few apple slices instead. Again really cool!
3. Similar to 1 and 2, but you use a big marshmallow instead. Wow this is amazing.
4. There are some terra cotta storage tablets that you can get wet and then place with the sugar, which should to do the trick.
5. Let’s say you really need to use that sugar right away. One thing you can try is putting the sugar in the microwave with a damp paper towel and turn it on for 5 to 10 seconds, then check it, etc. Until the sugar softens up.
There you have it a little bit about how to store brown sugar properly so it stays soft and ready to use, and how to get it back to that soft stage if it hardens up on you. Happy Baking!
Why Does Brown Sugar Go Hard
Brown sugar hardens as its natural moisture evaporates. Unless you store it properly, what was a soft, fluffy package of brown sugar granules will hardened into a dense brown lump you could break windows with. It’s still safe to eat, but there’s no way you can measure it accurately for a recipe until it’s soft and grainy again.
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How To Soften Brown Sugar With A Terra Cotta Disk
There are terra cotta disks made specifically for softening brown sugar, but you can also use any clean piece of terra cotta, like from a broken pot. I would look for a food-safe terra cotta. Simply soak the terra cotta in water for about 30 minutes, dry the excess water thoroughly, and place it with your brown sugar in an airtight container. Leave the container tightly sealed overnight and check for softness the next morning.
You can leave the disk in the container to help your brown sugar retain its moisture. Youll need to repeat the soaking process for the terra cotta every couple of months, but doing this regularly will keep your brown sugar from hardening.
How To Keep Brown Sugar Soft: Prevention
When it comes to keeping your brown sugar soft, prevention may be the best solution. To keep your brown sugar from becoming hard in the first place, be sure to store it in a cool area in a rustproof container with a secure lid. A resealable and moisture-proof bag works as well. Although it can technically last longer, plan to use your brown sugar within six months of purchasing and opening it.
Brown sugar can also be frozen, and you can separate clumps with a fork after thawing. If you buy brown sugar in bulk, you can divide it into smaller packages for storing to lessen the chance of too much air infiltrating and hardening the sugar.
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Three Ways To Soften Hard Brown Sugar
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How To Soften Brown Sugar With Bread Or Tea Bags
If you have 2 to 3 days: Transfer your brown sugar into an airtight container and try resuscitating it with something that can add moisture, like a slice of bread or a couple of damp tea bags. We also tried other recommended fixes like marshmallows which had no effect and apple slices, which turned slimy.
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How Does Terracotta Keep Brown Sugar Soft
terra cotta sugararecanbrown sugararesugarkeepingsoftterra cotta sugar
. Similarly, it is asked, does bread keep brown sugar soft?
Throwing in a slice of white bread allows the sugar to draw moisture from it. The bread hardens while the brown sugar softensmaking it usable once again!
Similarly, can you store brown sugar in a Mason jar? Storing it in a glass jar. If I tap the bottom of the jars onto the counter, I can fit one bag of brown sugar into two pint mason jars.
Correspondingly, why does Brown Sugar Harden?
Brown sugar hardens together once it has been exposed to air because it is coated in molasses. However, once exposed to air, the moisture that coats the molasses evaporates and allows the sugar granules to stick together. When the molasses dries out, the brown sugar hardens and turns into a solid piece of sugar.
How do you soften white sugar that has gotten hard?
How To Prevent Your Brown Sugar From Hardening
Brown sugar should be stored in a cool, moist area in a rustproof container with a tight-fitting lid. Brown sugar can also be stored in any type of re-sealable, moisture-proof plastic bag. The quality of brown sugar is best when consumed within six months of purchase and opening. Dont store brown sugar in the refrigerator. However, if you are in a very dry area or are going to keep it for a long time, you may want to freeze it. Thaw frozen sugar and use a fork to separate clumps before using. If ice crystals form after long freezer storage, frequently stir the sugar as it thaws to prevent the sugar from being affected by pockets of moisture.
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How To Soften Brown Sugar With A Dampened Towel
Dampen a kitchen towel or thick paper towel. Wring it out well to remove as much excess water as possible. Place the brown sugar in a bowl, and cover the bowl with the dampened towel so that the opening is completely covered but the towel is not touching the brown sugar. Leave the covered bowl on your countertop overnight or until the brown sugar has softened.
If you store your brown sugar in an airtight canister, you can also cover the top surface with aluminum foil or plastic wrap,and place the dampened towel on top of the foil or plastic wrap. Its important to put that layer of protection between the sugar and the damp towel. Otherwise, youll find that your brown sugar has turned suspiciously white. Close the container and leave overnight or until the brown sugar has softened.