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Cure for hard brown sugar?

  • s

I went to make cookies yesterday and pulled out my brown sugar (which admittedly was quite old) and it was a hard as a rock block. Any ideas on how to revive this block? Also, I would appreciate any storage tips for opened bags of brown sugar.



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  1. Microwave it! Maybe for about 30 seconds at low power - try that and if it still needs it, try a little more. Your brown sugar will come out soft, just like when you first opened the box.

    1. m
      Marion Morgenthal

      Just pulled my opened package of brown sugar out of the freezer to do some baking. After about 15 minutes on the counter it's good as new. If you only use part of it---the rest goes back in the freezer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Marion Morgenthal

        keep in a storage bag in the fridge. soft, and always ready to use.

      2. the microwaving is not a fix, its a temporary measure for times whenyou are in a hurry. you have to use the hot sugar immediately. the reason the sugar is hard is beacuse the moisture is missing. for a long term solution, you need to add the moisture back. try putting a damp paper towel on top of the sugar in a tupperware or glad plastic box, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then put a sealing top on it, this should really fix the problem, discard teh papertowel after the problem is gone. usually overnight.
        good luck,

        1. c
          Caitlin Wheeler

          A slice of bread left in with the brown sugar for a while will revive it. For long term, I have found that storing the brown sugar in a ziploc bag keeps it softer longer.

          1. i've been able to keep my brown sugar soft for months by just tightly rolling down the top of the bag so that there is no space for air, and wrapping an elastic band around it.

            1. Even if your brown sugar is as hard as a brick you can soften it perfectly in 24 hours by leaving a slice of apple in the tightly-closed jar where you keep the sugar.

              1. Another possibility is, don't buy brown sugar. Instead, buy molasses, and when you have a recipe that calls for brown sugar, add the appropriate amount of molasses to white sugar. 1 cup of brown sugar is something like 1 cup of white sugar plus 1 T of molasses. You can look up the exact proportion. This is what brown sugar is--white sugar plus molasses.

                1. t

                  In addition to microwaving, you can also put hardened brown sugar on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for several minutes or until it softens.

                  I store mine in a tupperware container to keep it moist.

                  1. stick it in the microwave, well sealed, with a moistened paper towel. Heat on low power rather briefly - the small amount of steam generated from the paper towel will soften the sugar sufficiently without heating the sugar very much. Just dont overdo or it will melt and youll have a diff problem.

                    1. In many of the cooking catalogues or stores, there are small brown sugar teddy bears which, when soaked for 15 minutes in water, can be placed in your brown sugar in a closed container. The moisture from the teddy bear keeps the sugar soft. Have used mine for years and have never had hard sugar. I refresh in water maybe once or twice a year. They sell for about $3-4.00.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: MPD

                        I was going to suggest this as well. Mine's just a circle, not a teddy bear, and I'd say it was 3 bucks at most. Have used it for years, works like a charm. Amazon or ebay - 'brown sugar saver' - will give you an idea.

                        1. re: 16crab

                          Ridiculous to pay that much for a piece of clay. Buy a plant saucer at the garden center and smash it into a few pieces. One for the brown sugar, others for the raisins and other dried fruit.

                      2. A half slice of bread in the same bag, then wrapped tightly with a rubber band. Will stay soft for a long time on that one piece of bread, even if the bread gets hard as a rock.

                        1. For the record books...I had a,"brick"'of brown sugar on the counter I just purchased and was taking back. Looking through these comments I decided to see for myself. I kept the brown sugar in the waxy sealed bag. I cut an,"X" into the bag, and added a wet paper towel to the top and put in for 30 seconds...hmmmmm getting a little less bricky- decided to up the anti-, I added a very small glass bowl, 3-4 tbls. Of water no paper towel another 50 seconds pulled it out,SOFT BROWN SUGAR!!! Yep! I am not sure if this will last, just popped it in a mason jar with a marshmello. We'll see.

                          1. A hammer and chisel does the job also.