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Problem with Brown Sugar--Help!

 
 
Roberta
 
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 05:47 am
How can I keep brown sugar from turning rock hard in the box? I've taken to pounding, sawing, and chiseling just to break off a piece that looks roughly the right size for the recipe I'm making.

Is there some kind of secret thing I should be doing to keep the damned stuff accessible?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 2,476 • Replies: 18
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mismi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 05:58 am
They say putting a piece of bread in the container with it works. You have to put it in a tupperware container. I keep mine in a rubbermaid one and it is fine. But we use it a lot. I make cookies a lot for social things.

The bread has something to do with the moisture. I have never tried it but I hear from several folks that it works.
0 Replies
 
Tico
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 06:13 am
Yes, bread works -- because of the moisture. However, if you seldom use the sugar, the bread can go mouldy. As an emergency method, put a slice of bread in for 24 hours (I think).

There are special gizmos for keeping brown sugar soft. They are essentially unglazed clay, often in the shape of a cute animal. Or, you could just put in a shard of a clay plant pot. Soak it first in water until all air bubbles disappear, dab dry it with a towel, and pop it into an air-tight container with the sugar.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 06:21 am
You can also use a small chunk of apple. That lasts longer than the bread and doesn't disintegrate.
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 06:39 am
Even if you put it in a tupperware container, it will get hard if you don't use it much.

It's inevitable. The brown sugar must get hard.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 06:59 am
The solution is so simple....

The answer is: there is no answer.

The solution is: Put it in the microwave for a few seconds until it softens.

Works like a champ.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 07:13 am
Ziplock it and keep it in the freezer.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 09:37 am
I like a bit of brown sugar.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 09:47 am
How come you taste so good?
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 09:50 am
put raw rice in a cloth bag (like they put potpourri or herbs in) and put that in tupperware with the brown sugar. works for salt and regular sugar, not sure about brown, but it's worth a try.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 09:55 am
Just nuke it. Trust me it works.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 10:02 am
dagmaraka wrote:
put raw rice in a cloth bag (like they put potpourri or herbs in) and put that in tupperware with the brown sugar. works for salt and regular sugar, not sure about brown, but it's worth a try.

That keeps the moisture out of the salt and sugar. Brown sugar should be a little moist.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 10:06 am
Rice removes moisture. Not a good idea when you're trying to add moisture to brown sugar.

The bread/apple approach add moisture to the brown sugar.

cjhsa's microwave recommendation is really the best (as long as you remember to put a source of moisture into the microwave with the brown sugar)

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/BrownSugar.htm
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 02:54 pm
Thanks for the suggestions.

The brown sugar is in a tinfoiled box. I guess I have to take it out of the box before I nuke it. And I have to put something moist in the microwave when I nuke it. A wet paper towel?

All this to get a teaspoon of sugar. Worth it if it works.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 03:33 pm
Quote:
Tips for softening brown sugar:

Brown sugar becomes hard when moisture in the sugar evaporates. Therefore, the various methods used for softening brown sugar are intended to return moisture to the sugar.

* To soften hard brown sugar, place an open bag of sugar in the microwave with a cup of water next to it. Microwave on high (100%) for 2-3 minutes. If your microwave doesn't have a carousel, turn the bag after each minute. NOTE: This worked great, but isn't a permanent fix. Any unused sugar will dry up again. However, the process can be repeated each time you need sugar.

* Place about 1/2 lb. of hardened brown sugar in microwave safe bowl. Cover sugar with two pieces of wet paper towels. Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap. Heat in microwave at HIGH for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.* Divide sugar with fork (sugar will be hot); stir. Use immediately. *Microwave ovens vary in power; cooking time may need adjustment.
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2008 03:48 pm
Wundebar. Thanks bethie and everybody.
0 Replies
 
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jun, 2008 06:34 am
Sugar actually contains water, so it isn't necessary to put any water in the microwave with it unless it's really, really dry (like it got left out in the desert sun). I wouldn't go 2-3 minutes either, maybe 30 seconds max, then in 10 second bursts.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jun, 2008 07:01 am
You can get one of these for three dollars, although I was told a clean piece of terracotta also works:

Brown Sugar Softener
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jun, 2008 12:50 pm
Thanks, again, cj. I appreciate it.

Thanks, Green Witch.
0 Replies
 
 

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