How do I soften brown sugar?

We all know the feeling: you are all set to bake but when you take out the brown sugar it is hard as a rock. The sugar hardens when all the moisture has evaporated, thanks to prolonged exposure to air.

Here are two good ways to keep your sugar moist:

  • Once you open the plastic bag, place a strip of orange skin in with the sugar, roll the bag closed and seal it with masking tape; place that bag inside a zip-top bag and store at room temperature.
  • Many housewares stores sell terra cotta objects—everything from simple discs to tiny teddy bears—which get soaked in water and stored in the sugar.

If your brown sugar has gotten too hard, see my previous post with tips on how to soften it.

Once it's ready to use, you'll want to try some of these top-rated recipes: Brown Sugar Pound Cake, Brown Sugar Strawberry Tart, Brown Sugar-Pecan Cupcakes, and Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce.

Marge Perry

July 2011