My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.

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Tuesday Tip: Don’t Buy Brown Sugar

Posted on June 14, 2011 by crankycheryl

The other day, I ran into a neighbor with a decidedly fretful look on her face.  We were both in the cohousing pantry and she was looking for the brown sugar for a recipe she was making at home.  There was none on the shelf.

It made me realize that I have not been properly shouting out one of my favorite kitchen tips:

Don’t buy brown sugar. 

Brown sugar is sugar that’s been processed (i.e., granulated and had the molasses separated out) and then had a certain amount of molasses added back in.  You can buy it, but Cheryl’s Law of Pantry Inhabitants dictates that then you will forever have the wrong grade of darkness: dark when your recipe wants light, light if it calls for medium, etc.

But you can avoid this.  Instead, buy plain old sugar (if you’re a Costco member you can get a great deal on fair trade turbinado-type, by the way)  and a jar of plain old molasses.  Then, when a recipe calls for brown sugar you just combine the two.  Here’s what I do (and I’d love to know if your ratios differ):

  • For light brown sugar, I add 1 T. molasses per cup of white sugar
  • For medium brown sugar, add 2 T. molasses
  • And for dark, add 3 T.

Nice, right?

Tuesday Tip is a new feature I’ll be offering weekly, focusing on ways to make your food life more simple, thrifty, healthy and family-friendly.  If there are things you’re seeking or would like to know more about, do send a note!

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  • Stephanie

     Is that per cup of sugar?

  • Anonymous

    That’s what I do. I’ve seen other ratios too – experiment!

  • Ali

    This is what I do too! I was so excited to do this and I’ve made it several times since then. The brown sugar is so fresh and soft, it is wonderful 🙂

  • Excellent! Isn’t it totally liberating?


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