All brown sugar will dry out over time as the moisture in
it begins to evaporate. This can result in hard, clumpy sugar. Changes in the climate can be another factor affecting
the consistency of sugar. Even though the sugar gets dry and hard, it is not harmful and is still safe to consume.
Here are easy ways to soften hard brown sugar:
1. Place the brown sugar in an airtight container with a slice of fresh bread
placed on top. Seal and leave overnight. It should be soft and fresh again in the morning, if not just let it sit another
day or two.
Sprinkle a few drops of water over the chunk of hardened sugar, place in a plastic bag, seal, and let sit for a couple days.
3. Place brown sugar in an open container, then top with
a moistened cloth (paper towel works too). Let sit overnight.
4. Place the hardened sugar in an airtight container with a few apple slices.
This should soften the sugar within the next day or two. Remove apple slices once sugar is soft again.
5. Use foil or plastic wrap to cover
the top of the sugar. Then set a dampened sheet of paper towel (not dripping wet) on top of the foil. Place in an airtight
container and seal. Let sit overnight or a few days as needed. Remove foil and paper towel once the towel is dry and sugar
is fresh again.
6. Buy a clay disc or if you have a pottery piece
on hand (from a broken clay pot, etc.), set it in water for about 30 minutes. Dry the piece so it isn’t dripping wet.
Put the clay piece in a container with the sugar and seal. Check after a few days. Keep the piece in with your sugar for months
if you’d like–will keep it soft.
#1: Need the sugar soft now? Put the brown sugar in a container and place in the microwave with a small bowl full
of water beside it. Microwave for about 1 minute–check. If it’s still hard, try for another 30 seconds. You
can keep doing this until the sugar is soft, but watch that you don’t melt the sugar.
Quick Tip #2: Place the hardened sugar in a baking pan and set in oven (temperature
at about 250° F). Check after 5 minutes. If still not soft, continue checking every few minutes until it’s soft
and ready to use.
Tip #3: Place the brown sugar chunk in a microwave safe plastic bag. Take a square of paper towel and moisten with
water (not dripping wet–wring out excess). Place the wet paper towel in the bag with the sugar and seal. Place in the
microwave for approximately 20 seconds. If still not soft, microwave for a few seconds more, repeating until the sugar is
ready to use. Be careful not to melt the sugar.
Quick Tip #4: Stick chunks of the brown sugar in a food processor or blender and chop/pulse
For best results, make
sure to store brown sugar in a sealed, airtight container. A clay disc kept in the container can keep it soft for months (see
tip above for clay disc).For extended storage, brown sugar can also be stored in the freezer and thawed for about 10 minutes