Brown Sugar: Pack It!

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Let’s talk about brown sugar!  It’s easily one of my favorite baking staples.  It’s deep, sweet, and utterly lovely.

Commercially produced brown sugar (the kind most of us probably buy) is a mixture of granulated sugar (from canes or beets) and molasses.

Wait… do you know how brown sugar is made?  Unrefined sugar is stripped down to bare bones sugar crystals.  Two things are created in this process:  granulated sugar and molasses.  Did you know that molasses is a by-product of the sugar-making process?  Pretty cool, I think.

Molasses is then added back to the processed granulated sugar to create Light Brown Sugar and Dark Brown Sugar.  Light Brown sugar has less molasses than Dark Brown Sugar… makes sense, right?

You probably have granulated sugar and molasses on hand.  You can totally make your own brown sugar!  It’s a thing.  It’s a total lifesaver.

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Let’s also talk about measuring brown sugar.

You might see a recipe that reads:  1 cup brown sugar, packed.

If we’re using measuring cups instead of weighing our ingredients, here’s the deal-   spoon brown sugar into measuring cup.  With medium pressure, use the back of the spoon to press sugar into the bottom of the measuring cup.  We’re packing brown sugar so we don’t have any air gaps in our sugar measuring.  Continue to spoon sugar and pack it down until full, and sugar is flush with the top of the measuring cup.  Dump sugar into prepared bowl.  The sugar will hold its shape as it comes out of the cup, then collapse and break up into the bowl.  That’s an evenly packed cup of brown sugar, with no sneaky air pockets!

Then!  You’re all set to make Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies!

Sweet life!

xo j

51 thoughts on “Brown Sugar: Pack It!

  1. To any tea drinkers: if you haven’t already, I strongly suggest using brown sugar instead of white. Ohhh, you’ll be glad you did!

    Another fav- toast slathered with obscene amounts of butter, topped with brown sugar and cinnamon. Mouth. Heaven.

  2. In home ec our teacher taught us to scoop from the brown sugar bag, but while doing so, pack the sugar in with your hand through the bag. Keeps your hands clean and saves use of a spoon! :)

  3. I love brown sugar. It’s the most amazing thing since sliced bread! or was it made before sliced bread…hmm. Anyways I love it when a recipe calls for more brown sugar than regular sugar because I know I’m going to get that nice deep rich color and wonderful molassesy caramely flavor :)

    and I’ve made those brown sugar sugar cookies before, they were good :)

    1. I usually just swap out some of the white sugar for the brown in any recipe that would benefit from the flavour (which we all know is almost any recipe!)

  4. One of my favourite uses of brown sugar = rolling a fresh strawberry in sour cream and then in brown sugar and then eating it. Holy crap, heaven.

    1. For real decadence, that combination is wonderful with an espresso or coffee, and a liqueur glass of brandy. Then you have it all: sweet, sour, bitter, cold, hot. Amazing.

  5. I always love making my own brown sugar, much richer in flavor, delicious. :) When I have the time!

    You’re the best, Joy. Thanks.

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