Softening Brown Sugar - Food Gypsy

How to soften brown sugar

Published On March 30, 2012 | By Gypsy | Gastronomy, Tips & Techniques

Tip #37 from my grandmother’s kitchen – how to soften brown sugar when it’s become a hard, unusable mass.  

Ending this week with a little  kitchen wisdom; it can happen to any of us the brown sugar is neglected  for a little while, we lift the lid and it’s hard as a rock.  All brown sugar needs is a bit of moisture to bring back that soft, scoop-able freshness.  There are several ways to do it, here’s a few options:

1.  Seal sugar in an airtight container with a fresh slice of bread on top.  Let stand overnight and – fresh as a daisy.

2.  Sprinkle a few drops of water over the sugar, seal in a zip-seal plastic bag.  Let stand for two days and there’s your softened sugar.

3. Got an orange?  Good.  Take a quarter piece of orange peel, place it pith (white) side down and seal it in an airtight container with your nasty sugar for a day, then remove the peel when it’s job is done.  (A couple of slices of apple also works well.)

Not quick enough for you?  Need it now?

Alright then, put your hardened sugar in a microwaveable bowl, place it in the microwave along with a coffee cup half full of water.  Nuke on high for 60 seconds, if the sugar is still hard, go an extra 30 seconds.

No microwave?  Yeah, me neither.  Pulsing in the food processor works, makes a horrid racket though.

No food processor?  Place sugar in a plastic bag, wrap it in a kitchen towel and smash it liberally with a heavy pan.  This is also an excellent anger management technique.  I recommend it heartily if you have sullen teenagers moping about, texting at the dinner table.  Begin smashing that sugar without warning, while smiling, chatting happily about your day.  Failing all else, and for truly dramatic effect, got a hammer?

 What?!  Like I’m the only one to ever use a hammer in the kitchen.  

Soft brown sugar - Food Gypsy

Fresh again! Time to make more cookies.

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About The Author

"Gypsy" is not my real name." A freelance food & travel writer & photographer based in Aylmer, Quebec. Corinna Horton trained at Le Cordon Bleu, spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn, and is currently between big, shiny kitchens as she focuses on family and what's next in this delicious life.