Short of getting out the hammer and getting physical, here are some ways to soften brown sugar - and keep it that way!
1. Air-Tight Container - A container with a tight-fitting lid or even a resealable plastic bag can really help keep brown sugar from losing so much moisture that it turns into a rock.
2. Terra Cotta Brown Sugar Savers - You can find these little terra cotta disks at almost any baking supply store. Just soak it in water and seal it in with the brown sugar to help soften it up.
3. Marshmallows - We found this tip through Real Simple and are curious to try it. Apparently, throwing a few marshmallows into the bag helps keep the brown sugar soft!
4. Slice of Bread - This was our mother's preferred method. She swears by leaving a slice of bread in the bag overnight.
5. Slices of Apple - This is the same idea as both the marshmallows and the bread. The brown sugar will draw the moisture out of the apples and soften up.
And of course, if you're in a hurry to make cookies and need softer brown sugar right away, try this method of microwaving it with a damp paper towel!
What's your method for softening brown sugar?
(Image: Sang An/Real Simple)