Making Mealtime Meaningful: See How We’re Giving Back with the New 12 Tomatoes Cares Program →

Holiday cookie season is upon us, at long last. For many of us, this means that we are going to be breaking out our baking supplies for the first time this year.

That is all well and good but there are certain issues that are sure to arise in these instances. Brown sugar has a way of turning into a solid when it has not been opened in a while and this is a common problem.

Photo: Pixabay/ckjeziorny

While there are some who will simply throw the box away and buy another, there is a better way. This sugar is still able to be used, whether you realize it or not. If you utilize this very simple hack, you can bring your sugar back within moments. No worries, it is still going to be edible, so you have no reason to head back to the grocery store.

It probably won’t shock anyone to learn that this tip was first provided by As it turns out, all we need when we are ready to soften the sugar is a microwave-safe bowl and the microwave itself. Place the brick of the sugar in the bowl and grab a damp paper towel to cover it up with.

Photo: flickr/Chris Kelly

Heat the bowl for 20 seconds at a time. When each 20-second interval is over, open the microwave to check on the consistency of the sugar. Once you are able to easily scoop the sugar with a spoon, this means that you are ready to rock and roll.

This is because brown sugar is nothing more than white sugar mixed with molasses. When the box of brown sugar sits for a long period of time, the moisture from the molasses begins to dry up. Once the mixture congeals, you are putting your teeth at risk by attempting to eat it.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The microwave method re-introduces all of the lost moisture and restores the sugar to its normal level of usefulness. The paper towel provides the necessary steam, which is a godsend.

To prevent this problem from happening in the first place, you will want to store the brown sugar in an airtight bag. It also helps to place the brown sugar in a container that has a slice of bread at the bottom. Both of these hacks are a great way to avoid the block of brown sugar.

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes