It’s time to bake some cookies and your brown sugar decided to become rock solid. Now what? Before cursing the Gods of Sweets, take a deep breath and push your sleeves up because you’re about to soften brown sugar.
5 ways to soften brown sugar
Looking at the hard rock sugar in its recipient, you might think you’re in for a battle, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is so easy and simple to get the sugar back into its loose granules that you will regret every time you tossed it away thinking it beyond salvation.
If you know you will be needing brown sugar soon, check your pantry to see how is it fending. If the sugar is hard rock, all you have to do is place a slice of bread inside the recipient and leave it in for 24h or 2 days.
When you go back for it, the sugar will already be loose and you only need to throw the bread away.
The apple slice trick is exactly the same as the bread slice one. Just place two slices together with the sugar in a well-closed jar or bag and wait up to 2 days for them to work their magic.
Unlike the bread, though, the apples can transfer a bit of their flavor to the sugar.
If you need to loosen the sugar ASAP because your cookies are waiting, put it in a microwave-safe recipient, cover it with a moist paper towel and microwave it for about 20 seconds.
Take it out and use a fork or other tool to help the granules come undone. If there are still rock-hard chunks, microwave it again for 20 seconds. Repeat as many times as you need.
Don’t microwave the sugar for longer than 20 seconds at a time to prevent it from cooking.
If you don’t own a microwave or are afraid of its dangers, you can also use the oven. Just set it at a high temperature, place the sugar in a pan next to a recipient with water and put everything in the oven for about 10 minutes.
The steam will moisturize the sugar once again.
The point of using a wet paper towel or apple slices to soften brown sugar is to moisturize it again. To do this, you can also put the sugar is a plastic bag, add a bit of water and use your hands to break the sugar down and spread the water.
This is a less common trick to loosen up sugar since you need extra care not to put too much water or you can dilute it and turn it into a paste.
How to properly store brown sugar
It is much better to have the sugar loose and ready to use at any moment, no matter how greatly and quickly the aforementioned tricks work.
Brown sugar has a lot of moisture. As it evaporates, the granules start to stick together, eventually becoming a compact rock-like mass.
Therefore, all you have to do is to prevent the moisture from evaporating by using an airtight recipient to store the sugar. If possible, make sure there isn’t much empty space inside the recipient too. The less air, the better.
Check the video below to see these tricks to soften brown sugar at work and to learn a few more tips on how to store it.