Pretty much every home baker has been there: You're about to whip up a batch of your favorite cookies and you reach for the brown sugar—only to find a rock-hard, unusable lump.
The only way to avoid this problem is to prevent your brown sugar from drying out in the first place. Why does it happen? Every brown sugar crystal is covered in a thin layer of molasses. That’s what makes it so soft and sticky. When the sugar is exposed to air, the moisture in the molasses evaporates and the sugar crystals become glued together.
To keep it soft, you have to stop the sugar’s moisture from evaporating. Transfer it to a Tupperware container to minimize exposure to air. Still, even a little bit of air on the container could dry out the sugar over time—so add a marshmallow. The marshmallow will slowly become stale and lose its water, making up for any moisture that might have evaporated from the sugar.
Now you’ll be all set next time you pull out a recipe that calls for brown sugar. Might we suggest some chai-spiced banana crumb muffins?
Photo credit: Alicia Cho