Forget something? Here’s a recipe helper

You’ve probably been there before. You have everything to make chocolate chip cookies, when suddenly you realize that you forgot to buy brown sugar, or maybe there just isn’t enough remaining in the bag that’s in your pantry.

Maybe you just want to make some quick stir fry sauce, or a crockpot recipe that calls for brown sugar, but you quickly realize that you don’t have enough and it’s time to change dinner plans.

What if I told you that there was an easy way around this?

Something that’s so easy that it really kind of seems impossible, yet after you try it, you’ll realize that it was painfully obvious the whole time.

Like one of those answers that stares you in the face the whole time. The kind that makes you do a face palm and shake your head at yourself once you realize just how easy your life could have been.

After that description you may think that we are talking about something far more life changing than a recipe for brown sugar made at home, but in reality, we aren’t.

Sure this is the same kind of scenario for many life lessons, but we’re just going to chalk this up to a simple little kitchen hack that few people seem to know about.

At some point within the past couple of years, I remember reading about this while doing some Pinterest research for other recipes.

I can recall thinking, “Oh, what a great idea, I’ll have to try that some time,” and casting it to the side, clearly forgetting about this lightbulb that had just gone off in my head.

Well, fast forward to last weekend, when I was preparing to make some chocolate chip cookies for some friends of ours. I had asked my husband to pick up some chocolate chips for me at the store, but completely forgot that I was also out of brown sugar.

I started making the cookies We’re talking about already having the softened butter in the mixer, flour, baking powder and salt whisked together, when it suddenly hit that I didn’t actually have any brown sugar.

There was no turning back at that point. Something had to be done.

Since it was the only ingredient I was short on, it was easy to know the problem. This wasn’t one of those, “What can you make for dinner using tomato sauce and cottage cheese?” kind of Google quests.

Although, I’ve definitely been there too.

So naturally, I looked up brown sugar substitutes and then all of a sudden realized that I had forgotten to try this kitchen trick.

We nearly always have molasses on hand, and you can’t make chocolate chip cookies without sugar, so that was of course on hand as well.

I started out with one set of directions that stated to mix one tablespoon of molasses per one cup of white granulated sugar together in a stand mixer.

That stuff mixed, and mixed, and mixed some more, and I was pretty certain that this was a fail. I noticed that the molasses was forming little globules instead of actually combining with the sugar, so I decided to get a bit more involved.

Using my hands, I rubbed the sugar and molasses together, and in about three minutes, give or take, I had brown sugar.

Then my palm hit my face, and I shook my head at myself and all the years of not realizing it was this easy. In that moment, I decided that I could easily take brown sugar off of all future shopping lists, too, because it was just that easy.

I substituted for the exact amount that would have come from a store purchased bag and hoped for the best.

Did I have different results? Yes, actually.

The cookies were lighter and fluffier, and honestly tasted more homemade to me.

Could it have been the simple fact that I knew the work that went into them? Yes, totally possible, yet my husband agreed, that these cookies were different yet better.

The next time you think you’re out of luck because you’re out of a pantry staple, think again. It may just be that simple.

As always, thanks for reading, and happy baking!


Brown Sugar Recipe

1 Tbsp. Molasses

1 C. Granulated white sugar


Mix together, until sugar turns brown, and there are no more traces of molasses. Substitute using exact measurements.

Katy Wise is a Fredonia resident.