So you’re in the baking aisle and you look over bags of brown sugar for that perfect cookie (or cookie bite) recipe.
But you notice that those brown sugar bags are hard. And you wonder: What’s the deal? And then: Is it OK to eat?
The short answer: Yes!
The hardening happens because brown sugar is the well hydrated cousin of granulated sugar. And brown sugar is made up of granulated sugar and a specific amount of molasses.
That added — albeit delicious ingredient — gives the sugar an increased moisture content, which means a significant amount of moisture is lost when it’s exposed to the air for short periods of time. That’s what causes a pack of brown sugar to get clumpy and harden.
There are plenty of tips online, including this list, to help you soften packages of brown sugar that have hardened — even if it’s just because the package has been on your pantry shelf for a while. One common option is putting a slice of bread or some apple slices on top of the brown sugar in a container, seal it up and let it sit for a day.