Tips + Tricks


brown sugar marshmallow

Being a geek in the most complete sense of the word, I love chemistry. Luckily, I’ve found a way to apply that love that doesn’t result in explosions or monsters: cooking! Specifically, baking is just as much a science as it is an art. So if you’re as geeky as I am, here’s a quick and ultra-simple tip for you kitchen chemists out there: Keep brown sugar from hardening by simply adding a few large marshmallows to the jar. Yep, it really works!

natural brown sugar saver

You see, brown sugar is coated in molasses, which makes it nice and soft when it’s fresh. The problem is, over time, the moisture in the molasses evaporates, causing the brown sugar to harden and stick together. The plus side is brown sugar is also very hygroscopic (Science word of the day!), so if you put something with a high moisture content in the jar with the sugar, it keeps all the granules hydrated and pliable!

natural brown sugar saver

Obviously, at some point, the marshmallows will lose all of their moisture, so make sure you switch out the hard marshmallows for fresh ones to keep your brown sugar fresh even longer.

Ash mentioned it yesterday, but in case you missed it… We’re up for a 2012 JDR Blogger Award in the Remodeling category! Voting takes just 2 clicks of the mouse (or tap of the finger if on a mobile device, haha), there’s no registration required and we’d really appreciate your vote! The winner gets $500 and a nice shinny award for display. To cast your vote, click here! Oh and did I mention you look absolutely stunning today? ; )

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  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 9:37 am

    This works with a slice of bread too! I didn’t know about the marshmallow trick, though. Good to know! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I’ve heard this trick before but I’ve never tried it! I’m definitely going to try this out this afternoon. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Nice tip! I love the jar you have for storage. Probably more pleasing to the eye than my random, mish-mash tupperware. Ha!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I actually use a Brown Sugar Bear which you can pick up at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It’s great. But I had no idea you could use marshmallows as well. How nifty.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2012 at 11:25 am

    What a great idea! Nothing I hate more than clumps of dried brown sugar in my cookies. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Lilly A
    March 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    I love quick and easy tips. Thanks, Greg!

  • Reply
    March 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Where do you get the metal label (labeled BROWN SUGAR) that you put on the glass jar? I also saw it on “Your Right Hand”. I LOVE them and would love to use them on some scrapbooks I have.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Oh, yeah! I forgot to mention that. You can find them at Staples in the Martha Stewart section. They have them in different sizes and finishes.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I didn’t know about marshmallows. I’ve always just put the heel from the loaf of bread in there. I was so thankful to have found that little trick. No more hard brown sugar.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Were’d you find that cool jar?

    • Reply
      March 15, 2012 at 12:50 am

      Target for $4 bucks! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Ashley S
    March 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I’ve had the same 2 marshmallows in my brown sugar jar for about a year – not only have I never had a clump, but the marshmallows are still soft and just like new. So no need to worry about changing ‘mallows often either! It makes baking so much easier πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Does this marshmallow trick only work on fresh brown sugar or will it work on already hard-as-a-rock brown sugar?

    • Reply
      June 26, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      It worked for us in both instances πŸ™‚

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