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don’t throw out hard brown sugar

With holiday baking in full swing, I wanted to share a tip with you that I’ve used for years, more times than I’d like to admit.

throw aways

Don’t you hate it when you open your container of brown sugar, only to find a rock-hard, impenetrable, tough-as-nails substance? Yeah, see those white patches in my sugar above? That’s where I could barely scratch the surface with the metal measuring cup.

rock hard

I was able to chisel out a chunk. I then “grated” the sugar rock with a strainer into the bottom of the baking dish for THIS recipe. If I would have needed the brown sugar to be mixed with other ingredients, as it is in chocolate chip cookies, I would have called my sweet neighbor, “Gladys,” asking to borrow sugar.

How many times has this happened to you?

If you’re a non-baker like me, more often than you would like to recall. What do you do when it occurs?

Begrudgingly, jump in the car and head to the grocery store?
Call a Gladys to “borrow” sugar?
Throw the brown rock sugar away?

Well, No More!

If you’re in a real pinch and are at mid-point in your recipe, you still may want to call Gladys. But you’ll be able to pay her back a few hours later when you’ve revived the rock sugar in that container.

Here is the trick that works.

Every! Time!

fresh bread

Toss a fresh slice of bread in the container. Close the lid, and within 8 to 24 hours…

dried out bread

Remove the slice of bread – it will be rock hard.

soft brown sugar

But your brown sugar will be soft, fluffy, sweet, and sugary just like it was when you brought it home from the store …. 4 months ago.

You’re Welcome!

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1 Pat Hopkins { 11.19.13 at 11:49 AM }

I can’t believe it! I’m sure you knew this before, but if not–it’s the first thing connected with cooking that I knew before you did.

2 Shelley J. { 11.19.13 at 12:16 PM }

Wow! such cool trick! Thanks!

3 Nancy { 11.19.13 at 3:30 PM }

I am so going to try this…being in the tropics and humidity zone this is a daily issue with ALL our sugar….so a slice of Bimbo bread is going to do the trick you say. Well, I’m all for it and so no more grating or soaking the hard as rocks sugar with other “wet ingredients” and smashing it to speed the process. Love this and love you!!! Thanks!

4 Nancy { 11.19.13 at 3:32 PM }

p.s. Do you know of any sugar you can sub for powdered sugar for iciing? Many parts of Panama don’t have powder sugar and I’m almost out and Zada wants to make sugar cookies and decorate them…so powder sugar is in order. Any suggestions, I’d surely love and oh, even the powder sugar here gets hard, so I’ve been having to put it through a sieve!

5 Linda Hopkins { 11.19.13 at 5:03 PM }

Nancy, oh the tests you have living “the life” in Paradise. Just kidding, as you well know, I could not do what you do – you amaze me!

Yes, whatever Bimbo bread is, it should work.

As for the powdered sugar dilemma – in your tight space, do you have a blender or food processor? If so, put 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or arrowroot) in there and blend it until it is a powder. Let it settle before you remove the lid, or you will be covered in a cloud of sugar (not as wonderful as it sounds) and you can use that as a powdered sugar substitute and make pretty iced cookies with Zada! xoxo

6 Linda Hopkins { 11.19.13 at 5:10 PM }

Mom, you crack me up!

I’ve known this trick for years, but for all know, it may have been you who first taught told it to me… could have been up to 30 years ago! xoxo

7 Nancy { 11.26.13 at 8:01 AM }

Well, no food processor darn and drats…but I can easily see Zada and I trying to SMASH granulated sugar (and in Central America their granulated sugar is very raw in form and not “fine”) with a mortar and muscle…though I have a feeling that might not work! lol Thanks for the tip, which if I ever get around someone sailing with a blender, I’ll surely borrow and restock my powder sugar containers! Thanks so much…..you’re the best!

8 Linda Hopkins { 11.26.13 at 9:27 AM }

Nancy, no blender? That is heartbreaking. No frozen drinks, how do you survive the high seas?!? Love You! xoxo

9 Kenny Hendrick { 01.05.18 at 5:13 PM }

LOL….good grief, THANKS! So white-brown sugar is safe…phew (i don’t drive and don’t have a car and am far from walking distance from a store). Thank god you made this page (I was knee-deep in making apple bread when the rock of thor presented itself to the mix).

10 Linda Hopkins { 01.08.18 at 5:38 PM }

Kenny, So happy this worked for you at the perfect time! Happy New Year and Happy Baking.

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