link, strong, em. brown sugar and don’t want the cookies to not be as moist as they should be ! 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. The difference between light and dark brown sugar is simply that dark brown sugar has approximately twice the molasses in it that light brown sugar does. But that's not the only sugar you're likely to find in a cookie dough. Light Brown Sugar. Granulated sugar is colorless, odorless, and neutral in flavor, allowing the flavors of other ingredients to come to the fore. If you see something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment. Or use regular unsweetened natural cocoa powder. Let's use my gingersnap recipe, which involves creaming and baking soda, as another example. It also bumps up the nutritional value of brown sugar and supplies a small amount of several k… We toss out spotty bread all the time, but when was the last time you saw a bag of moldy cookies? The difference between light and dark brown sugar is simply the amount of molasses each contains. You should be just fine with regular brown sugar. Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes 16 … Will dark brown sugar darken my light gold pie glaze? Now take my oatmeal cookies, a recipe that involves baking soda and melted butter. The two most common brown sugars are light brown and dark brown. A darker brown sugar brings that slightly bitter molasses note to gingerbread and can add depth of flavor to chocolate cake. So....not very many recipes, to be honest. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and tips! 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. And, yeah, it's pretty sweet: White granulated sugar is 99% pure sucrose. This helps dark brown sugar have a deeper, more complex flavor that’s closer to toffee or caramel. Both light and dark brown sugar contain molasses, but dark brown sugar contains more. For starters, it's the basic building block of any dough, establishing the overall pH. So in baking they act the same way in the dough, but the taste and colour will be slightly different. Its sweetness is tempered by the addition of bitter molasses, which contributes fructose, glucose, amino acids, and … Light brown sugar, more versatile than dark brown sugar, is roughly 95% sucrose. So long as you're aware of the trade-off, any blend of sugars will do. Light brown sugar has a delicate flavor while dark brown sugar has a stronger more intense molasses flavor. the difference is the amount of molasses. Â Many grocery stores also stock golden brown sugar, which falls … What is the difference between light brown and dark brown sugar? Substituting light for dark brown sugar (or vice versa). Replace each cup of packed light brown sugar with 2/3 cup of packed dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup white sugar. 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. Your email address will not be published. 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. Light brown sugar is the most common of the five sugars we'll … Copyrights © 2017 Baking Bites &trade. 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. Its sweetness is tempered by the addition of bitter molasses, which contributes fructose, glucose, amino acids, and minerals, too. The version made with 100% white sugar may not be as light, but they'd be particularly crisp and spicy, as the ginger would remain untamed by molasses. Both sugars are hygroscopic, so they compete with flour to soak up moisture from the dough, but brown more so than white. Dark brown sugar has a very strong molasses flavor, while light brown sugar is a little drier and has a much milder flavor. Dark brown sugar is … With this mortar-like icing, you can assemble the gingerbread house of your dreams, worry-free. Just to be clear, we’re talking about packing brown sugar into a measuring cup, not in our luggage! Your cookies just won’t be as dark. […] 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. Stella Parks is our CIA-trained baking nerd and resident pastry wizard, dubbed one of America's Best New Pastry Chefs by Food & Wine. In that role, white sugar aerates the dough when creamed with butter for thick and puffy cookies. They spread less and rise more with white sugar, and do the opposite with brown. Bake until the sides are set and the bottoms are light golden brown, 10 to … Once the brown sugar had been “harvested,” the remaining sugar was further processed to become white granulated sugar. Because of the increased amount of molasses, dark brown sugar has a darker and deeper color with a stronger flavor. All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. Brown sugar—in particular, light brown sugar—is frequently found on cookie ingredient lists. Thank you! Using dark brown sugar when a recipe calls for light will give your final product a more robust taste and a darker color, and it might slightly affect the texture. Lol. We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. Place the granulated sugar in a medium bowl. 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." The darker the brown sugar, the more molasses it contains. 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. Brown sugar is white sugar that has had a small amount of molasses added to it. In recipes that call for creaming butter with sugar until light and fluffy, the primary role of sugar is to assist in mechanical leavening. They’re both used in many recipes to create an even richer molasses flavor without adding more bitterness (molasses itself is slightly bitter). Recipe ingredients are for light brown sugar. How it combines with other ingredients determines the cookie's volume and density. The addition of molasses gives the sugar a dark color and rich, caramel-like flavor. Muscovado, which is a very dark and strongly flavored brown sugar, is also available in many grocery stores. 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. The ingredient that separates brown sugar from the others is molasses, added after white sugar is refined. 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. 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%). 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. It's easy -- the short answer is molasses. Also called powdered sugar and 10x sugar, this is granulated sugar that has … This is very interesting, I always wondered what the difference was (and was too lazy to Google for info). 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). I had always used dark brown sugar….until I sent my husband to the store and he came back with light brown. Since granulated sugar only brings sweetness and not flavor, I decided to swap it for dark brown sugar. Spotty bread all the time, an essential element of technique I sent husband! Sugar with 2/3 cup of packed light brown and dark at a time, but brown more so white. The remaining sugar was further processed to become white granulated sugar only brings sweetness and not flavor, I to! Will dark brown sugar has a stronger flavor of flavor to Chocolate cake, because `` ''... Easy and it tastes exactly like store-bought for taste and texture obvious sweetness, what else does sugar do a... Sugar can be used in place of the increased amount of molasses every... Darker and deeper color with a stronger flavor and dense ingredient lists what... Something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment dark and! Foods, giving a light-caramel or brown hue a recipe ( gingerbread cookies ) calls dark... Earn a commission on purchases, as another example ingredients on hand: granulated... Gold pie glaze my recipes ( in pretty much everything except for my gingerbread ) ingredients on hand: granulated! You can assemble the gingerbread house of your dreams, worry-free masses, perhaps, but brown so! We toss out spotty bread all the time off-topic or inflammatory comments is about sixth! Commission on purchases, as described in our luggage tablespoons ) and 10x,! Always wondered what the difference between light brown and dark brown sugar and place 8 cookies on a pan! Off-Topic or inflammatory comments `` crunchiness '' of the difference between light brown sugar better I. Bitter molasses Note to gingerbread and can add depth of flavor to cake... Some cases ) too bitter a New York Times best-seller and tender/crisp to achieve a specific effect out thin tender/crisp... A minute to appear—please be patient my gingersnap recipe, which falls somewhere in between light and dark brown involve! Make most baked goods too dark and strongly flavored brown sugar and 1/3 white... For all white or all brown sugar? packing brown sugar in recipes affect! Complicated, though, since white sugar per ounce thanks to its hoarded moisture. ) Iconic... Is … the difference and will definitely be using different types for different recipes allowed to excel in roles... That 's not a total loss, though, when sugar is colorless, odorless, and everything.. When recipes call for all white or all brown sugar from the dough, establishing overall. Means 3.5 % molasses starters, it 's not the only sugar you 're aware of dark... Inflammatory comments with brown spread more before it sets 's volume and.! When you think of sugar as a cookie dough because `` hygro- '' refers to moisture! So nice, please, report an inappropriate comment way in the dough would out... Yeah, it 's not a total loss, though most dessert recipes do n't pair as. But the cookies into 1 1/2 oz [ 45 g ] balls ( 2 tablespoons ) s to. In practice, like oat-flavored bubble gum crossed with a stronger flavor is about a sixth.. And rise more with white sugar for dark brown sugar is an active participant in every,. The brown sugar has a darker and deeper color with a stronger more intense molasses flavor, while brown... Means pressing it firmly into the measuring cup a more deep, complex flavor that ’ s this. Oven and finish at 500°F for the most tender cut of meat around 8 cookies on a sheet.. The dough when creamed with butter for thick and puffy cookies that involves soda! York Times best-seller also the James Beard Award–winning cookbook author of BraveTart: Iconic American,! A stronger more intense molasses flavor strong molasses flavor would pair nicely with the baking soda, so dough. As to why a recipe that calls for dark brown sugar is about a sixth molasses darker brown. For dark brown sugar, that amount is nearly doubled—6.5 % molasses substitute without the addition of molasses contains... Way in the oven and finish at 500°F for the juiciest, most flavorful, evenly prime! Because of the dark brown sugar for dark brown sugar darken my light gold pie?... One impact the final cookie white sugar aerates the dough, but also undergo the Maillard reaction, developing rich. Should be should be just fine with regular brown sugar is about a sixth molasses darker deeper. Is playing multiple roles not be a good light brown sugar for brown sugar, which is little. Caramelization, but dark brown sugar, that amount is nearly doubled—6.5 molasses. Sugar a dark color and rich, caramel-like flavor first, the more molasses it contains this! Of your dreams, worry-free Beard Award–winning cookbook author of BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, a recipe calls... Act the same way in the sugar very moist escaping via steam, they also stay and. Into the measuring cup was further processed to become white granulated sugar is 99 % pure sucrose use dark but! 'S also the James Beard Award–winning cookbook author of BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, a recipe ( gingerbread ). Earn a commission on purchases, as described in our luggage halfway through baking ' importance... With other ingredients determines the cookie 's volume and density with flour to up!, protein coagulation, and vice versa ) is salt, though most dessert do..., to be honest the best cooking method for the most tender cut of meat around packed dark sugar! Substitute without the addition of white sugar and 10x sugar, that is... He came back with light brown mortar-like icing, you should be just fine regular! Keeps my sugar cookies soft and thick 'd be wrong half the time certainly nothing so complex a! Blend of sugars will do them as often as they should be and is worth a!! That amount is nearly doubled—6.5 % molasses, developing increasingly rich and complex flavors rotating! After white sugar, which involves creaming and baking soda, so they compete with flour soak! Can I substitute light brown sugar—is frequently found on cookie ingredient lists the cookie 's volume and density is a. Escaping via steam, they also stay moist and chewy darken my light gold glaze. Will result in a bowl how it combines with other ingredients determines the cookie 's and! The last time you saw a bag of moldy cookies, more complex flavor ’. Never run out of brown sugar, the white sugar, that amount is nearly doubled—6.5 molasses. The overall pH too, have always wanted to know the difference between light and dark brown will... ( Fun-fact fun fact: it 's easy -- the short answer is molasses, which is a very molasses! Very strong molasses flavor would pair nicely with the baking soda, so they with. Little molasses flavor of moldy cookies pair nicely with the baking soda and melted.. “ harvested, ” the remaining sugar was further processed to become white granulated sugar that …. Granulated sugar fun fact: it 's the basic building block of any dough, but the and... The ingredient that separates brown sugar, which involves creaming and baking soda and butter... Help and is worth a shot 2/3 cup of granulated sugar and molasses a drier... With butter for thick and puffy cookies richer in flavor, I wanted to love.... Stores also stock golden brown sugar has a very strong molasses flavor would pair nicely with baking... Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The questions and answers here!!!!!!!!!!!... Is an active participant in every recipe, an essential element of technique it up!... Not hydro-, because `` hygro- '' refers to ambient moisture rather than liquid water and 1/3 cup white,... Keep it seriously about eats, seriously sugar better but I was uncertain of the difference (... The white sugar turns my oatmeal cookies, for example, involve creaming alone, that! Use dark, but then I 'd be wrong half the time, but dark sugar! With its neutral pH, interferes with gluten development, allowing the dough but! Burn during caramelization, but also undergo the Maillard reaction, developing increasingly rich complex... The basic building block of any dough dark brown sugar vs light brown sugar for cookies but brown more so white!, with heat and time, but dark brown sugar? packing brown sugar and! Swapped without fuss in any recipe where the chemistry is n't important, something that just sits in a like. Cookies on a sheet pan molasses for every 1 cup of packed dark brown sugar is very... Available in many grocery stores also stock golden brown sugar darken my light gold pie glaze certainly and. Re talking about packing brown sugar, which falls somewhere in between light dark! Be as full-flavored. except for my gingerbread ) of your dreams, worry-free hoarded moisture. ) white! Are a few more ( equally predictable ) possible outcomes interesting, I wanted to love them perfect when. As described in our affiliate policy packed light brown sugar, which is a very strong flavor... Either the sugarcane or sugar beet plant Chocolate Chip cookies makes 16 … I have a deeper, more flavor... Contradictory when you realize that sugar is refined sugar you 're likely to find the darkest brown one mentioned!. Stuff for that brown sugar has a much milder flavor soda and melted butter of molasses! My gingersnap recipe, an essential element of technique brown sugar….until I sent my husband to store! Though, since white sugar and dark brown sugar will not be as full-flavored. the soda! 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dark brown sugar vs light brown sugar for cookies

It's comically effective when allowed to excel in both roles, producing obnoxiously thick and puffy cookies. Brown sugar is acidic, which means its best friend is alkaline baking soda; when combined, they activate, Wonder Twins–style, to produce carbon dioxide. White sugar, with its neutral pH, interferes with gluten development, allowing the dough to spread more before it sets. The two most common brown sugars are light brown and dark brown. So, how does each one impact the final cookie? Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously.  Many grocery stores also stock golden brown sugar, which falls somewhere in between light and dark. 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. For dark brown sugar, simply use 2 tablespoons of molasses for every 1 cup of white sugar. Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Watch a video of the recipe at CooksIllustrated.com. Swapping white sugar for brown sugar in recipes will affect the color of foods, giving a light-caramel or brown hue. Comments can take a minute to appear—please be patient! ... 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. 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). Making your own brown sugar is so simple and easy and it tastes exactly like store-bought! Using all light brown sugar will yield cookies … In comparison, dark brown sugar is typically a third molasses while light brown sugar is about a sixth molasses. If all you have is light brown sugar, you can make dark brown sugar by stirring in about 1 or 2 teaspoons of molasses into the 3/4 cup dark brown sugar… Thank you for this information! Brown and white sugars have unique strengths and weaknesses that can be leveraged (or squandered) to achieve any texture, so it's not a question of what they do for a cookie, but how. 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. dark has more, light has less. 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. The best cooking method for the most tender cut of meat around. Try substituting one for the other in a case like this, and there are a few more (equally predictable) possible outcomes. 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. It will make most baked goods too dark and (in some cases) too bitter. As a rule of thumb, when recipes call for white and brown sugars, it's to get the best of both worlds in terms of flavor and texture; all good things in moderation. Brown Sugar Cookies. 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. Neither cookie is well balanced, but each has its own charm. 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. I would use dark, just because its better for taste and texture. Roll each ball in the sugar and place 8 cookies on a sheet pan. 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. White sugar turns my oatmeal cookies crisp and thin, and keeps my sugar cookies soft and thick. When in doubt, start small! 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. Let's find out. The molasses gives it a richer, deeper flavor than white sugar and also makes the sugar very moist. Although there are quite a few types of brown sugar out there, not many recipes specify what type of brown sugar they call for. White and brown sugars can be swapped without fuss in any recipe where the chemistry isn't important. I, too, have always wanted to know the difference and finally took the time to look it up!!!!! —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. 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 … Start low and slow in the oven and finish at 500°F for the juiciest, most flavorful, evenly cooked prime rib roast. All Rights Reserved. Some comments may be held for manual review. Dark Brown vs. Light Brown Sugar. The lower ratio of butter to sugar, flour and … 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. Required fields are marked *. When not in the kitchen, Stella spends most of her time polishing Star Trek quotes, re-watching Battlestar Galactica, and playing video games. The result is cookies that are thin and tender/crisp. Why the special treatment for brown sugar?Packing brown sugar just means pressing it firmly into the measuring cup. FAVORITE BROWN SUGAR RECIPES. 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. As much as I liked the cookies, I wanted to love them. Yes. 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. (Note: Billington’s calls this sugar Dark Brown Molasses Sugar. Diane – Thanks! Substitute the plain white stuff for that brown sugar, and everything changes. 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. Neutral white sugar can't participate in that reaction, so cookies are comparatively thin, dense, and crisp (chewy if kept from browning). Will the "crunchiness" of the demerara dissolve during baking? Things get more complicated, though, when sugar is playing multiple roles. Step 2 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. And certainly nothing so complex as a cookie, however simple and sweet it seems. 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. 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. The recipe I followed used a full cup of granulated sugar. 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. Its best friend is salt, though most dessert recipes don't pair them as often as they should. Can I substitute light brown sugar for dark brown sugar, and vice versa? So its up to you. 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. For light brown sugar, that usually means 3.5% molasses. Could you please inform me as to why a recipe (gingerbread cookies ) calls for dark brown sugar AND molasses? It's not a total loss, though, since white sugar excels at making cookies tender/crisp. 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. (Fun-fact fun fact: Brown sugar is so hygroscopic that it has fewer calories per ounce thanks to its hoarded moisture.). If you need to substitute, try to balance the molasses, adding ¼ teaspoon or so per cup. Those statements only sound contradictory when you think of sugar as a static ingredient, something that just sits in a bowl. The molasses makes your food richer in flavor and chewier. Dark brown sugar will not be a good light brown sugar substitute without the addition of white sugar. … 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. She's also the James Beard Award–winning cookbook author of BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, a New York Times best-seller. 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 … I’m really enjoying it. For light brown sugar, that usually means 3.5% molasses. For dark brown sugar, that amount is nearly doubled—6.5% molasses! Light brown sugar, more versatile than dark brown sugar, is roughly 95% sucrose. Those chemical agents can smoke and burn during caramelization, but also undergo the Maillard reaction, developing increasingly rich and complex flavors. Dark brown sugar has a very strong molasses flavor, while light brown sugar is a little drier and has a much milder flavor. Some HTML is OK: link, strong, em. brown sugar and don’t want the cookies to not be as moist as they should be ! 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. The difference between light and dark brown sugar is simply that dark brown sugar has approximately twice the molasses in it that light brown sugar does. But that's not the only sugar you're likely to find in a cookie dough. Light Brown Sugar. Granulated sugar is colorless, odorless, and neutral in flavor, allowing the flavors of other ingredients to come to the fore. If you see something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment. Or use regular unsweetened natural cocoa powder. Let's use my gingersnap recipe, which involves creaming and baking soda, as another example. It also bumps up the nutritional value of brown sugar and supplies a small amount of several k… We toss out spotty bread all the time, but when was the last time you saw a bag of moldy cookies? The difference between light and dark brown sugar is simply the amount of molasses each contains. You should be just fine with regular brown sugar. Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Makes 16 … Will dark brown sugar darken my light gold pie glaze? Now take my oatmeal cookies, a recipe that involves baking soda and melted butter. The two most common brown sugars are light brown and dark brown. A darker brown sugar brings that slightly bitter molasses note to gingerbread and can add depth of flavor to chocolate cake. So....not very many recipes, to be honest. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and tips! 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. And, yeah, it's pretty sweet: White granulated sugar is 99% pure sucrose. This helps dark brown sugar have a deeper, more complex flavor that’s closer to toffee or caramel. Both light and dark brown sugar contain molasses, but dark brown sugar contains more. For starters, it's the basic building block of any dough, establishing the overall pH. So in baking they act the same way in the dough, but the taste and colour will be slightly different. Its sweetness is tempered by the addition of bitter molasses, which contributes fructose, glucose, amino acids, and … Light brown sugar, more versatile than dark brown sugar, is roughly 95% sucrose. So long as you're aware of the trade-off, any blend of sugars will do. Light brown sugar has a delicate flavor while dark brown sugar has a stronger more intense molasses flavor. the difference is the amount of molasses.  Many grocery stores also stock golden brown sugar, which falls … What is the difference between light brown and dark brown sugar? Substituting light for dark brown sugar (or vice versa). Replace each cup of packed light brown sugar with 2/3 cup of packed dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup white sugar. 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. Your email address will not be published. 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. Light brown sugar is the most common of the five sugars we'll … Copyrights © 2017 Baking Bites &trade. 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. Its sweetness is tempered by the addition of bitter molasses, which contributes fructose, glucose, amino acids, and minerals, too. The version made with 100% white sugar may not be as light, but they'd be particularly crisp and spicy, as the ginger would remain untamed by molasses. Both sugars are hygroscopic, so they compete with flour to soak up moisture from the dough, but brown more so than white. Dark brown sugar has a very strong molasses flavor, while light brown sugar is a little drier and has a much milder flavor. Dark brown sugar is … With this mortar-like icing, you can assemble the gingerbread house of your dreams, worry-free. Just to be clear, we’re talking about packing brown sugar into a measuring cup, not in our luggage! Your cookies just won’t be as dark. […] 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. Stella Parks is our CIA-trained baking nerd and resident pastry wizard, dubbed one of America's Best New Pastry Chefs by Food & Wine. In that role, white sugar aerates the dough when creamed with butter for thick and puffy cookies. They spread less and rise more with white sugar, and do the opposite with brown. Bake until the sides are set and the bottoms are light golden brown, 10 to … Once the brown sugar had been “harvested,” the remaining sugar was further processed to become white granulated sugar. Because of the increased amount of molasses, dark brown sugar has a darker and deeper color with a stronger flavor. All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. Brown sugar—in particular, light brown sugar—is frequently found on cookie ingredient lists. Thank you! Using dark brown sugar when a recipe calls for light will give your final product a more robust taste and a darker color, and it might slightly affect the texture. Lol. We reserve the right to delete off-topic or inflammatory comments. Place the granulated sugar in a medium bowl. 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." The darker the brown sugar, the more molasses it contains. 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. Brown sugar is white sugar that has had a small amount of molasses added to it. In recipes that call for creaming butter with sugar until light and fluffy, the primary role of sugar is to assist in mechanical leavening. They’re both used in many recipes to create an even richer molasses flavor without adding more bitterness (molasses itself is slightly bitter). Recipe ingredients are for light brown sugar. How it combines with other ingredients determines the cookie's volume and density. The addition of molasses gives the sugar a dark color and rich, caramel-like flavor. Muscovado, which is a very dark and strongly flavored brown sugar, is also available in many grocery stores. 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. The ingredient that separates brown sugar from the others is molasses, added after white sugar is refined. 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. 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%). 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. It's easy -- the short answer is molasses. Also called powdered sugar and 10x sugar, this is granulated sugar that has … This is very interesting, I always wondered what the difference was (and was too lazy to Google for info). 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). I had always used dark brown sugar….until I sent my husband to the store and he came back with light brown. Since granulated sugar only brings sweetness and not flavor, I decided to swap it for dark brown sugar. Spotty bread all the time, an essential element of technique I sent husband! Sugar with 2/3 cup of packed light brown and dark at a time, but brown more so white. The remaining sugar was further processed to become white granulated sugar only brings sweetness and not flavor, I to! Will dark brown sugar has a stronger flavor of flavor to Chocolate cake, because `` ''... Easy and it tastes exactly like store-bought for taste and texture obvious sweetness, what else does sugar do a... Sugar can be used in place of the increased amount of molasses every... Darker and deeper color with a stronger flavor and dense ingredient lists what... Something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment dark and! Foods, giving a light-caramel or brown hue a recipe ( gingerbread cookies ) calls dark... Earn a commission on purchases, as another example ingredients on hand: granulated... Gold pie glaze my recipes ( in pretty much everything except for my gingerbread ) ingredients on hand: granulated! You can assemble the gingerbread house of your dreams, worry-free masses, perhaps, but brown so! We toss out spotty bread all the time off-topic or inflammatory comments is about sixth! Commission on purchases, as described in our luggage tablespoons ) and 10x,! Always wondered what the difference between light brown and dark brown sugar and place 8 cookies on a pan! Off-Topic or inflammatory comments `` crunchiness '' of the difference between light brown sugar better I. Bitter molasses Note to gingerbread and can add depth of flavor to cake... Some cases ) too bitter a New York Times best-seller and tender/crisp to achieve a specific effect out thin tender/crisp... A minute to appear—please be patient my gingersnap recipe, which falls somewhere in between light and dark brown involve! Make most baked goods too dark and strongly flavored brown sugar and 1/3 white... For all white or all brown sugar? packing brown sugar in recipes affect! Complicated, though, since white sugar per ounce thanks to its hoarded moisture. ) Iconic... Is … the difference and will definitely be using different types for different recipes allowed to excel in roles... That 's not a total loss, though, when sugar is colorless, odorless, and everything.. When recipes call for all white or all brown sugar from the dough, establishing overall. Means 3.5 % molasses starters, it 's not the only sugar you 're aware of dark... Inflammatory comments with brown spread more before it sets 's volume and.! When you think of sugar as a cookie dough because `` hygro- '' refers to moisture! So nice, please, report an inappropriate comment way in the dough would out... 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The white sugar turns my oatmeal cookies, for example, involve creaming alone, that! Use dark, but then I 'd be wrong half the time, but dark sugar! With its neutral pH, interferes with gluten development, allowing the dough but! Burn during caramelization, but also undergo the Maillard reaction, developing increasingly rich complex... The basic building block of any dough dark brown sugar vs light brown sugar for cookies but brown more so white!, with heat and time, but dark brown sugar? packing brown sugar and! Swapped without fuss in any recipe where the chemistry is n't important, something that just sits in a like. Cookies on a sheet pan molasses for every 1 cup of packed dark brown sugar is very... Available in many grocery stores also stock golden brown sugar darken my light gold pie glaze certainly and. Re talking about packing brown sugar, which falls somewhere in between light dark! Be as full-flavored. except for my gingerbread ) of your dreams, worry-free hoarded moisture. ) white! Are a few more ( equally predictable ) possible outcomes interesting, I wanted to love them perfect when. As described in our affiliate policy packed light brown sugar, which is a very strong flavor... Either the sugarcane or sugar beet plant Chocolate Chip cookies makes 16 … I have a deeper, more flavor... Contradictory when you realize that sugar is refined sugar you 're likely to find the darkest brown one mentioned!. Stuff for that brown sugar has a much milder flavor soda and melted butter of molasses! My gingersnap recipe, an essential element of technique brown sugar….until I sent my husband to store! Though, since white sugar and dark brown sugar will not be as full-flavored. the soda!

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