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Storing and Handling Sweeteners

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2012

Just like all kitchen ingredients, there's a right way and a wrong way to handle sweeteners like sugar and honey.

KEEPING BROWN SUGAR SOFT
Placing a soaked shard of terra cotta in a sealed container with brown sugar will keep it moist indefinitely.

QUICK FIX FOR THE HARD STUFF
Some sources recommend microwaving hardened brown sugar, but we find that this method can leave solid spots. A better way: Place the sugar in a pie plate and bake it in a preheated 250-degree oven for several minutes.

EASY SPOONING
Place metal measuring spoons under hot water before dipping them in syrupy sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, and the sticky stuff will slide right off.

MAKING HONEY CRYSTAL CLEAR
Honey never spoils, but it can crystallize and harden. To return honey to a clear, fluid state, heat it: Microwave it in 10-second increments until the crystals dissolve, or place the glass jar in a pan of hot water.

BUSTING UP CLUMPS
Even when stored in an airtight container, granulated sugar can form large, solid lumps. A few strokes with a potato masher will return it to a pourable state.