If it's happened once, it's happened a thousand times. You're all set to make cookies or something, and then you discover either 1) the recipe calls for brown sugar and you haven't got any, or 2) you do have it, but it's so old it's turned into a solid, sugary rock.
I know it's happened to you because it's happened to me.
Now, there are indeed ways to soften that brick, which is all well and good, but what about next time, and the time after that? You know what they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, right?
Well, instead of going insane, you can easily make your own brown sugar by combining white sugar and molasses, which solves your immediate problem as well as all your future problems. (OK, not all of them, just the ones related to having brown sugar.)
That's because the larger and more mind-blowing conclusion we can draw here is that you don't need to buy brown sugar ever again. As long as you have ordinary white sugar and molasses, you can just make your own as needed. That way it doesn't sit around in your cupboard and turn into a rock.
The reason this works is that brown sugar is a less-refined stage of ordinary white sugar, and molasses is a byproduct of the refining process. Making brown sugar is simply a matter of adding the molasses back into the white sugar — sort of like refining it in reverse. Or refining it, actually.
Anyway, the recipe below uses one tablespoon of molasses for each cup of white sugar, but you can adjust the amount of molasses depending on whether you want your brown sugar lighter or darker.
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- Combine the sugar and molasses in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended.
- Store in an airtight container (or, just make as much as you need right now because it's so easy).