What’s that? You live in a tidy home where everything is nicely stored in airtight containers and your brown sugar never, ever turns into a hard lump at which you must chip away with a knife? And then? While you’re doing that? Your hand slips and you wind up putting a giant dent in your counter top and stabbing your left arm with the knife? And you curse like a sailor and then growl like a bear while your children shake their heads at you, and click tsk tsk with their tongues?
Um, yeah. That doesn’t happen to me either.
Bah, who are we kidding? Most of us have opened the brown sugar container mid-recipe to find that the sugar has turned to stone. That’s because brown sugar contains molasses. Over time, the moisture in the molasses evaporates, leaving you with a brick that you want to hurl at someone’s head.
But no longer! You don’t need to throw it at someone, and you don’t need to throw it away! You simply need a tiny slice of apple. No joke: just place an apple slice (any size) in the bag and seal it back up again. I swear: your brown sugar will return to a moist, pleasant state within about a day. It works! I know, because I tried it.
A short time ago, this bag of brown sugar was a brick. A brick, I tell you! Capable of paving the driveway! One sliver of apple and a couple of days later, it is soft and crumbly and delightful. The only evidence of my tampering is a small white spot where the apple lay. The apple slice itself looked brown and withered, like a tired soul that has done its duty with honor.
I am told — though I have not tried these alternatives — that you can also restore brown sugar with a slice of bread, an orange peel, or a piece of terra cotta pottery that has been soaked in water for at least 15 minutes. Want to prevent hardening in the first place? Just place any of these items in the bag when the sugar’s still fresh. (Or, you know, you can actually seal the container so it’s airtight. But of course we all know how well that’s worked in the past).
There are cookies to be made, oatmeal to be served! We need our brown sugar soft, yo! Hooray for kitchen wisdom and the inner calm that comes with soft, moist sugar!