Joy the Baker

Brown Sugar: Pack It!

June 26, 2012

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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


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