Brown sugar is simply an adjusted form of white sugar and you can make it yourself at home. Here’s how.
You only need two ingredients — granulated sugar and molasses — to make your own brown sugar at home. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat one cup of sugar with one tablespoon of molasses until thoroughly mixed together. This will yield one cup of light brown sugar. If it’s dark brown sugar you need, use one cup of sugar and two tablespoons of molasses. This will give you a darker sugar with a higher percentage of molasses.
If you’re happy to apply a little elbow grease, you can mix the sugar and molasses by hand. Use a fork to stir the molasses into the sugar until completely incorporated.
If you have brown sugar that has hardened, there are some easy ways to soften it. For brown sugar you need to use immediately, place the desired amount in a glass bowl and cover with a wet paper towel. Place it in the microwave for 30 seconds.
When your packet of brown sugar has turned into a solid lump, place the sugar in a ziplock bag along with a slice of apple. Leave it for a couple of days or until the sugar softens.
To avoid your sugar going hard, place a moist clay figure (available from cooking stores) in the ziplock bag with the sugar. The moisture from the clay figure leaks into the sugar to keep it moist. When the clay figure dries out, just re-soak it overnight and put it back in the bag with the brown sugar.