When I am in the kitchen, my philosophy is simple: tread fearlessly. Make mistakes, try new flavors, don’t get too caught up in needing to follow recipes so intently you forget to have fun. Regardless, there are times my contained-crazy approach doesn’t mean I can simply forego some basic know-hows and common senses… And despite that, I keep my kitchen sadly understocked of things that should probably be staples in any pantry. I could tell you I do it on purpose, because it aids in my fearless approach and often makes room for trying things differently than I would’ve, had I had the right ingredients on hand… But it’s really just due to poor planning 99% of the time.
Brown sugar is one ingredient I often wish I had on hand and don’t. As it turns out, making your own brown sugar is the simplest thing in the world. Unless there’s a crazy good deal going on, I imagine I won’t be buying brown sugar from the store again. All you need is regular granulated sugar and molasses. I try to keep molasses on hand – because a little goes a long way, anyway. If you have a food processor, it’ll do all the work for you!
Homemade Brown Sugar
Yields roughly two cups light brown sugar.
2 cups unrefined cane sugar
3 tablespoons unsulphured blackstrap molasses
Combine the ingredients in a food processor, fitted with the paddle-blade. Blend until well mixed (4 to 5 minutes), scraping down the sides occasionally. A blender on a low, mix-setting will work, too. Or if you’re feeling especially frisky, mix it by hand!
* If you are in need of dark brown sugar, simply blend two cups cane sugar with a 1/2-cup of molasses in the same way.