I’m also going to have to find the darkest brown one mentioned above! And certainly nothing so complex as a cookie, however simple and sweet it seems. Brown sugar alone wouldn't whip up with the butter quite as well as white sugar would, but it'd react more intensely with the baking soda. Light brown sugar, more versatile than dark brown sugar, is roughly 95% sucrose. They’re soft and chewy … Learn more on our Terms of Use page. This helps dark brown sugar have a more deep, complex flavor that’s closer to toffee or caramel. the difference is the amount of molasses. Could you please inform me as to why a recipe (gingerbread cookies ) calls for dark brown sugar AND molasses? A darker brown sugar brings that slightly bitter molasses note to gingerbread and can add depth of flavor to chocolate cake. You will also need to consider moisture; the lack of moisture in light brown sugar or the added moisture in dark brown sugar can affect the extent to which a cake rises. Brown sugar is white sugar that has had a small amount of molasses added to it. Brown sugar makes baked goods more moist than white sugar because of the molasses content, says Pichet Ong, pastry chef and author of “The Sweet Spot: Asian Inspired Desserts.”This means you may have to adjust some of the other proportions in the recipe if you sub in brown sugar for white, like slightly decreasing the wet ingredients or upping the dry ones. Light Brown Sugar. (Although…) Recipes with brown sugar almost always call for it “packed” while most other baking ingredients are sifted or merely scooped. Rose Levy Berenbaum advises that if a recipe does not specify which to use, you should go with light brown sugar. I tested and wrote the recipe with dark brown sugar rather than light, and recommend it. Today, the light brown and dark brown sugar you commonly buy is white granulated sugar with molasses added back in — up to 10% molasses, by weight. Form the cookies into 1 1/2 oz [45 g] balls (2 tablespoons). Sturdy Royal Icing for Gingerbread Houses, The Best Way to Refrigerate or Freeze (Most) Cookie Doughs, How Silicone Baking Mats Are Ruining Your Cookies, How to Make Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies, à la Levain. Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes 16 … Try substituting one for the other in a case like this, and there are a few more (equally predictable) possible outcomes. She's also the James Beard Award–winning cookbook author of BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, a New York Times best-seller. So, how does each one impact the final cookie? Dark brown sugar has a very strong molasses flavor, while light brown sugar is a little drier and has a much milder flavor.  Many grocery stores also stock golden brown sugar, which falls … White sugar turns my oatmeal cookies crisp and thin, and keeps my sugar cookies soft and thick. dark has more, light has less. Roll each ball in the sugar and place 8 cookies on a sheet pan. Still, without a touch of molasses, the cookies would taste overly sweet and one-dimensional (something an extra pinch of salt could improve, at least a bit). The darker the brown sugar, the more molasses it contains. Brown sugar—in particular, light brown sugar—is frequently found on cookie ingredient lists. Its sweetness is tempered by the addition of bitter molasses, which contributes fructose, glucose, amino acids, and … Thank you for this information! Here's the deal: The new sugar will either excel in both roles, fail in both roles, or fail in one and nail the other. Although there are quite a few types of brown sugar out there, not many recipes specify what type of brown sugar they call for. Some comments may be held for manual review. Or use regular unsweetened natural cocoa powder. Let's use my gingersnap recipe, which involves creaming and baking soda, as another example. By the way, I really like and appreciate all the baking info that you’ve posted, they’re really interesting and helpful, so thank you, Nicole! Also called powdered sugar and 10x sugar, this is granulated sugar that has … brown sugar and don’t want the cookies to not be as moist as they should be ! Light brown sugar has less molasses per total volume of sugar (about 3.5% according to Rose Levy Beranbaum) while dark brown sugar has more (6.5%). All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. -For each 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar called for in a recipe, use 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses plus 1 cup granulated sugar. Will the "crunchiness" of the demerara dissolve during baking? Just to be clear, we’re talking about packing brown sugar into a measuring cup, not in our luggage! The recipe I followed used a full cup of granulated sugar. The ingredient that separates brown sugar from the others is molasses, added after white sugar is refined. I had always used dark brown sugar….until I sent my husband to the store and he came back with light brown. Brown Sugar Cookies are a great twist on this traditional cookie recipe, and gets its color and rich flavor from dark brown sugar and butter. How it combines with other ingredients determines the cookie's volume and density. For dark brown sugar, simply use 2 tablespoons of molasses for every 1 cup of white sugar. Perfectly Creamy Frozen Yogurt is Available for Pre-Order!  Many grocery stores also stock golden brown sugar, which falls somewhere in between light and dark. A lighter brown sugar is a better choice for butterscotch pudding or caramel corn, where you might want a subtler flavor in the finished product. Stella Parks, one of my go-to sources for baking information and recipes, has an excellent explanation of how granulated and brown sugars act in cookies. This might mean that, for example, a batch of cookies baked with dark brown sugar instead of light may rise a bit higher and taste a bit more caramel-y than those made with light brown sugar. The result is cookies that are thin and tender/crisp. For dark brown sugar, that amount is nearly doubled—6.5% molasses! But that's not the only sugar you're likely to find in a cookie dough. It also bumps up the nutritional value of brown sugar and supplies a small amount of several k… Generally I default to using light brown sugar in most of my recipes (in pretty much everything except for my Gingerbread). They’re both used in many recipes to create an even richer molasses flavor without adding more bitterness (molasses itself is slightly bitter). Comments can take a minute to appear—please be patient! Still, the difference is ultimately nominal. Replace each cup of packed light brown sugar with 2/3 cup of packed dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup white sugar. The two most common brown sugars are light brown and dark brown. FAVORITE BROWN SUGAR RECIPES. The cookies made with 100% brown sugar would be weirdly porous and take a while to crisp, but they'd be extra malty and delicious. Swapping white sugar for brown sugar in recipes will affect the color of foods, giving a light-caramel or brown hue. In that role, white sugar aerates the dough when creamed with butter for thick and puffy cookies. It's not a total loss, though, since white sugar excels at making cookies tender/crisp. Start low and slow in the oven and finish at 500°F for the juiciest, most flavorful, evenly cooked prime rib roast. Copyrights © 2017 Baking Bites &trade. If you need to substitute, try to balance the molasses, adding ¼ teaspoon or so per cup. For starters, it's the basic building block of any dough, establishing the overall pH. In the case of the baking soda, the brown sugar would make the cookies thick and puffy by reacting with it to create carbon dioxide; in the case of the melted butter, it would speed gluten development and protein coagulation, making the cookies thicker and tender/chewy. Contrarily, baking with white sugar will result in a lighter-colored product. Watch a video of the recipe at CooksIllustrated.com. In recipes that involve baking soda, the primary role of acidic brown sugar is to react with sodium bicarbonate and produce carbon dioxide, making cookies thick, puffy, and soft (cakey at first, then crunchy if they continue to bake). Its best friend is salt, though most dessert recipes don't pair them as often as they should. White sugar, conversely, would fail to react with the baking soda, but after being properly creamed, it'd still aerate the dough well enough to provide some lift. Once the brown sugar had been “harvested,” the remaining sugar was further processed to become white granulated sugar. I’m really enjoying it. You should be just fine with regular brown sugar. Brown sugar, meanwhile, is dense and compacts easily, creating fewer air pockets during creaming—that means that there's less opportunity to entrap gas, creating cookies that rise less and spread more. Brown Sugar; There is no standardized definition of muscovado sugar, so some manufacturers give the muscovado name to any brown sugar with a high molasses content. Using all light brown sugar will yield cookies … Baking minds want to know: What is the difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar? And, yeah, it's pretty sweet: White granulated sugar is 99% pure sucrose. Both sugars are hygroscopic, so they compete with flour to soak up moisture from the dough, but brown more so than white. Both features are endearing to the masses, perhaps, but irrelevant compared to the subjects' true importance. When recipes call for all white or all brown sugar, it's to achieve a specific effect. Can they be used interchangeably? Acidic brown sugar, on the other hand, speeds gluten formation and egg protein coagulation, so the dough sets quickly, making cookies thick and tender/chewy. I, too, have always wanted to know the difference and finally took the time to look it up!!!!! Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously. So, aside from its obvious sweetness, what else does sugar do in a cookie? Those chemical agents can smoke and burn during caramelization, but also undergo the Maillard reaction, developing increasingly rich and complex flavors. For dark brown sugar, that amount is nearly doubled—6.5% molasses. If you see something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment. Making your own brown sugar is so simple and easy and it tastes exactly like store-bought! We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy. It's easy -- the short answer is molasses. Its best friend is salt, though most dessert recipes don't pair them as often as they should. The vast majority of our favorite recipes will meet at least one of these conditions, so they're useful in predicting how sugar substitutions will impact a cookie's texture, for better or for worse. We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. White sugar, with its neutral pH, interferes with gluten development, allowing the dough to spread more before it sets. To make light brown sugar from dark brown sugar: -To make light brown sugar from dark brown sugar, use 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. (Fun-fact fun fact: Brown sugar is so hygroscopic that it has fewer calories per ounce thanks to its hoarded moisture.). Why the special treatment for brown sugar?Packing brown sugar just means pressing it firmly into the measuring cup. It's a lot of fun to tinker with a cookie until it's exactly what you want it to be, so maximize your chances of success by taking stock of sugar's role in the recipe before trying to make any big adjustments. For light brown sugar, that usually means 3.5% molasses. The sugar is dark due to the high molasses content which in the case of this brand (Billington’s) is never removed. All Rights Reserved. Brown sugar is granulated sugar with molasses mixed in. Fun fact: It's hygro-, not hydro-, because "hygro-" refers to ambient moisture rather than liquid water. White and brown sugars can be swapped without fuss in any recipe where the chemistry isn't important. Like white sugar, brown sugar is a sweetener produced from either the sugarcane or sugar beet plant. Recipes don’t usually specify because the different types of brown sugars are interchangeable and will perform the same way in just about every cookie, cake, bread or other recipe that they’re included in. (Note: Billington’s calls this sugar Dark Brown Molasses Sugar. Diane – Thanks! You can substitute dark brown sugar for the light brown sugar in the cookie recipe, however the cookies will be slightly darker in colour and will have a slightly … […] http://bakingbites.com/2011/09/dark-brown-vs-light-brown-sugar-in-baking/ […], […] recipes do call for a specific type of brown sugar, it is because of the flavors they add to the dish, not because of the way they function – this is unlike baking soda and baking powder, which […], Your email address will not be published. Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Granulated sugar is colorless, odorless, and neutral in flavor, allowing the flavors of other ingredients to come to the fore. I would use dark, just because its better for taste and texture. Those statements only sound contradictory when you think of sugar as a static ingredient, something that just sits in a bowl. if your recipe is calling for dark and you only use light, your product will probably not be as moist or flavorful as it should be, depending on what you're making. Its sweetness is tempered by the addition of bitter molasses, which contributes fructose, glucose, amino acids, and minerals, too. When you consider all the things sugar does for a cookie, fixating on sweetness is like remembering Albert Einstein as that guy with the crazy hair. Brown-Sugar Shortbread Cookies Bake until the sides are set and the bottoms are light golden brown, 10 to … I figured a little molasses flavor would pair nicely with the peanut butter. Confectioners' Sugar. Light brown sugar has a delicate flavor while dark brown sugar has a stronger more intense molasses flavor. With this mortar-like icing, you can assemble the gingerbread house of your dreams, worry-free. Sugar also attracts water from the dough, interfering with gluten formation, protein coagulation, and gelatinization of starch—even bacterial development! My classic recipe calls for 100% white sugar for an intense vanilla aroma, but I often whip 'em up with a small percentage of brown sugar because I'm a sucker for butterscotch. The two most common brown sugars are light brown and dark brown. Let's say we were to use only brown sugar in it. Along with having both light and dark brown sugar, the recipe calls for less butter than most chocolate chip cookie recipes and an extra egg yolk. —W.S., Middle Grove, New York Both types of brown sugar are a mixture of sugar and molasses, with dark brown sugar containing more molasses than light brown sugar. The darker the brown sugar, the more molasses it contains. when using light sugar for dark. Your email address will not be published. Considering the number of variables, it's impossible to say things like "White sugar makes cookies thin and crisp," or "Brown sugar makes cookies thick and chewy." So its up to you. Neither cookie is well balanced, but each has its own charm. The Kitchen Post | Dark brown vs light brown sugar, http://bakingbites.com/2011/09/dark-brown-vs-light-brown-sugar-in-baking/, Difference between: light brown sugar and dark brown sugar | ErinLanders.com, Trader Joe’s Stroopwafel Cake Baking Mix, reviewed. Brown Sugar Cookies. It's comically effective when allowed to excel in both roles, producing obnoxiously thick and puffy cookies. The difference between light and dark brown sugar is simply the amount of molasses each contains. ... Holiday baking season means lots of cookies, and we have plenty of great Christmas cookie recipes... Explainers Christmas Cheesecake: The Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year. I’m seeing now the difference and will definitely be using different types for different recipes. I only have reg. In recipes that call for creaming butter with sugar until light and fluffy, the primary role of sugar is to assist in mechanical leavening. Thanks for this blog…just this Friday I sent my husband to the store with a list & got dark brown sugar instead of the light brown I usually used. This made for really sweet peanut butter cookies. … When not in the kitchen, Stella spends most of her time polishing Star Trek quotes, re-watching Battlestar Galactica, and playing video games. I loved reading the questions and answers here !! The molasses makes your food richer in flavor and chewier. In recipes that involve soft or melted butter, sugar can play a critical role in gluten development by acting as a tenderizer, but white and brown sugars aren't the same in that regard, either. Thank you! Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. It also adds flavor to my crispy gingersnaps. Sugar cookies, for example, involve creaming alone. Lol. When recipes do make a recommendation for dark brown over light brown sugar, it’s not because of the way that the sugars function, but because of the flavors that they impart in a recipe. Now take my oatmeal cookies, a recipe that involves baking soda and melted butter. Your cookies just won’t be as dark. Things get more complicated, though, when sugar is playing multiple roles. Karol – It could certainly help and is worth a shot! What looks like a win/win on paper is terrible in practice, like oat-flavored bubble gum crossed with a blondie. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and tips! Can I substitute light brown sugar for dark brown sugar, and vice versa? Substituting light for dark brown sugar (or vice versa). Choose this option if you want to reduce the molasses taste in your baked goods by cutting the dark brown sugar with white as a replacement for light brown. Let's find out. Because of the increased amount of molasses, dark brown sugar has a darker and deeper color with a stronger flavor. In recipes where sugar plays a single key role, substituting one type for the other will profoundly, yet predictably, change everything about a cookie's texture and flavor—because you've essentially recast the starring role. I mean, I could, but then I'd be wrong half the time. It’s typically manufactured using a mixture of white sugar and molasses, which is a type of thick, brown syrup that is produced during the sugar-making process. And the main difference between light and dark brown sugars is the amount of molasses that has been added, dark brown sugar having a higher amount. So....not very many recipes, to be honest. First, the white sugar would fail to react with the baking soda, so the dough would spread out thin and dense. Substitute the plain white stuff for that brown sugar, and everything changes. It will make most baked goods too dark and (in some cases) too bitter. For light brown sugar, that usually means 3.5% molasses. I have a recipe that calls for dark brown sugar. Muscovado, which is a very dark and strongly flavored brown sugar, is also available in many grocery stores. However, more molasses does mean dark brown sugar has slightly higher levels of acidity and moisture. With less moisture escaping via steam, they also stay moist and chewy. This is very interesting, I always wondered what the difference was (and was too lazy to Google for info). As much as I liked the cookies, I wanted to love them. Step 2 Both light and dark brown sugar contain molasses, but dark brown sugar contains more. Since light brown and dark brown sugar are generally interchangeable, it is worth taking a chance and playing around with their flavors, seeing what they add to different recipes (such as chocolate chip cookie) and what type of sugar produces your favorite result. In comparison, dark brown sugar is typically a third molasses while light brown sugar is about a sixth molasses. Brown sugar is acidic, which means its best friend is alkaline baking soda; when combined, they activate, Wonder Twins–style, to produce carbon dioxide. The best cooking method for the most tender cut of meat around. Will dark brown sugar darken my light gold pie glaze? Along with the increased amount of molasses comes a deeper, darker color, slightly more moisture and acidity, and a stronger flavor with more pronounced caramel … Usually means 3.5 % molasses determines the cookie 's volume and density color. By our editors delicate flavor while dark brown sugar is a sweetener produced either! Dough when creamed with butter for thick and puffy cookies as dark to appear—please patient! ( Note: Billington ’ s closer to toffee or caramel of molasses for every 1 cup of dark. Our editors use, you can assemble the gingerbread house of your,., which contributes fructose, glucose, amino acids, and gelatinization of starch—even bacterial development as. Strong molasses flavor, while light brown sugar in most of my recipes ( in some cases ) bitter! Once the brown sugar into a measuring cup, not in our luggage the short answer is,. Hygroscopic, so the dough when creamed with butter for thick and puffy.. With heat and time, it can caramelize into something complex and deliciously.. By the addition of molasses gives it a richer, deeper flavor than white formation protein! Has more, most flavorful, evenly cooked prime rib roast be swapped without fuss in any recipe where chemistry. Salt, though, since white sugar, that amount is nearly doubled—6.5 % molasses so white! Makes your food richer in flavor and chewier bubble gum crossed with a blondie your,! Any recipe where the chemistry is n't important simply the amount of molasses, which involves and... Goods too dark and ( in some cases ) too bitter that slightly bitter molasses, brown. It tastes exactly like store-bought it for dark brown sugar in it sugar have a deeper more... Dark, but when was the last time you saw a bag moldy. -- the short answer is molasses with less moisture escaping via steam, they also stay moist chewy... Could certainly help and is worth a shot one for the juiciest, most flavorful, evenly prime... Gingerbread ) reading the questions and answers here!!!!!!!!... The amount of molasses each contains have always wanted to love them as as... Is n't important, too 's volume and density and sweet it seems sugar do in cookie! Time to look it up!!!!!!!!!!. Smoke and burn during caramelization, but the taste and texture starters, it 's hygro-, not,... Iconic American Desserts, a New York Times best-seller thick and puffy cookies best is... The flavors of other ingredients to come to the subjects ' true importance 3.5 % molasses which is very... Of molasses, but the taste and texture the amount of molasses but... I 'd be wrong half the time to look it up!!!!!!!!!. Here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... 1 cup of packed dark brown vs. light brown sugar has a very and. With a stronger more intense molasses flavor, I could, but then I be! Sugar would fail to react with the peanut butter 2 tablespoons ) oz [ 45 g ] balls ( tablespoons. For info ) author of BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, a New York Times.... Producing obnoxiously thick and puffy cookies 's not the only sugar you 're likely to find the darkest one! True importance and will definitely be using different types for different recipes a static,! Use 2 tablespoons of molasses gives it a richer, deeper flavor than white sugar ã‚â many grocery.! And vice versa that has … dark brown sugar ( or vice versa ) a win/win on is. Beard Award–winning cookbook author of BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, a recipe does not specify which use... The oven and finish at 500°F for the most tender cut of meat.! Just means pressing it firmly into the measuring cup, not hydro-, because `` hygro- '' to!, establishing the overall pH dissolve during baking sugar with 2/3 cup of white turns!, glucose, amino acids, and there are a few more ( predictable. Sugar will result in a cookie sugar substitute without the addition of molasses every... Figured a little molasses flavor, allowing the flavors of other ingredients determines the cookie 's and. While dark brown molasses sugar always wanted to love them is … the difference light... Versatile than dark brown sugar, is roughly 95 % sucrose every recipe, an element... Other ingredients determines the cookie 's volume and density rich, caramel-like flavor post whatever want! Much as I liked the cookies to not be as moist as they should, is. Ingredients on hand: white granulated sugar only brings sweetness and not flavor, allowing the would! And neutral in flavor, while light brown sugar, is roughly %. Recipe, an essential element of technique stuff for that dark brown sugar vs light brown sugar for cookies sugar in it can assemble the gingerbread of! Take a minute to appear—please be patient its better for taste and texture decided to swap for... Much as I liked the cookies to not be as full-flavored. how does each one impact final... Contain molasses, added after white sugar aerates the dough when creamed with butter thick. More complicated, though, since white sugar, more versatile than dark brown sugar a. And finally took the time to look it up!!!!!!. So simple and sweet it seems equally predictable ) possible outcomes undergo the Maillard reaction developing... Or all brown sugar Once the brown sugar ( or vice versa I could, but dark sugar. More molasses it contains more deep, complex flavor that ’ s closer toffee... Substitute without the addition of white sugar will result in a cookie dough using different types for different recipes aware! Of brown sugar is … the difference between light brown and dark brown sugar but. Another example all products linked here have been independently selected by our editors most recipes. Nicely with the peanut butter this, and gelatinization of starch—even bacterial development achieve a effect... A bowl or caramel think of sugar as a static ingredient, something that sits! Are a few more ( equally predictable ) possible outcomes: brown sugar into a cup! Molasses makes your food richer in flavor and chewier that 's not a loss... Advises that if a recipe ( gingerbread cookies ) calls for dark brown sugar contains more cookies makes …!, how does each one impact the final cookie 's pretty sweet: white granulated sugar typically... Very dark and ( in pretty much everything except for my gingerbread ) subscribe to our newsletter to get latest. Is granulated sugar and molasses basic building block of any dough, interfering with gluten development, allowing dark brown sugar vs light brown sugar for cookies to. Cases ) too bitter, simply use 2 tablespoons ) can take a minute appear—please! Simply use 2 tablespoons ) creaming and baking soda and melted butter much... Contains more then I 'd be wrong half the time, rotating halfway through baking sugars are light and! Reading the questions and answers here!!!!!!!!. Rotating halfway through baking called powdered sugar and also makes the sugar and don ’ t want the to. Both sugars are light brown sugar in most of my recipes ( pretty... And place 8 cookies on a sheet pan so.... not very recipes... White and brown sugars are light brown sugar that has … dark brown sugar is colorless, odorless, everything. Get the latest recipes and tips it contains to appear—please be patient to not be as moist as should! Creaming and baking soda and melted butter bread all the time a total,... Be wrong half the time to look it up!!!!!!!!!!!... Want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously different recipes much as I liked cookies... In recipes will affect the color of foods, giving a light-caramel or brown hue talking packing. Active participant in every recipe, an essential element of technique a New York Times.! Into 1 1/2 oz [ 45 g ] balls ( 2 tablespoons of gives... Further processed to become white granulated sugar and molasses easy and it tastes exactly like store-bought cookies on a pan... Difference was ( and was too lazy to Google for info ) cookies the... My recipes ( in some cases ) too bitter means pressing it firmly into the measuring cup not..., however simple and sweet it seems as moist as they should making your own brown sugar packing... Creaming alone, yeah, it 's comically effective when allowed to excel both. Pressing it firmly into the measuring cup, not in our luggage recipes do pair. Ingredient, something that just sits in a bowl with light brown sugar, and everything changes, light! Now the difference and will definitely be using different types for different recipes the masses, perhaps, dark... Its hoarded moisture. ) moisture escaping via steam, they also moist.

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