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Sifting brown sugar for cookies

I have always sifted brown sugar when baking cakes, but just recently started sifting brown sugar for cookies. I am trying new recipes right now, so I'm not 100% certain sifting the brown sugar is making any difference, but I feel like the cookies might come out different if I don't sift the brown sugar. Any thoughts?

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  1. I have never sifted brown sugar, I would imagine that the moisture content would make it difficult. I go through it so fast that it doesn't dry out.

    1. Are you sifting to remove lumps or to distribute more evenly? Do you use a sifter (or rub through a sieve?) It never occured to me to do this with brown sugar, but do you think it improves cakes?
      Trying to remember, I guess I just allow the liquid in my mixture to dissolve and therefore distribute, the brown sugar.

      1 Reply
      1. re: blue room

        I sift to remove lumps and distribute more evenly. I rub it through a sieve. I definitely think it improves cakes, especially if the cake is supposed to have a light crumb.

      2. Are you using granulated brown sugar? I can't imagine trying to sift the regular and don't see a need to sift the granulated. I'm curious as to what the difference you think sifting is making in your baked goods?

        1 Reply
        1. re: gourmanda

          I using the regular brown sugar. I feel like it mixes more evenly and prevents me from overmixing if that's a concern for a recipe. I have made recipes both ways and feel the sifting is often worth it.

        2. Most recipes call for brown sugar to be packed....why sift?

          3 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842

            I always thought the "packed" was just to help you measure it, just like "scoop and sweep" method to measure flour.

            1. re: bmorecupcake

              so you pack it first, and then sieve it?

          2. How does one even "sift" brown sugar?

            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I have a sieve that's coarser than most sieves and I just rub it through with a spatula.