Don't throw that stale brown sugar away! You can bring it back to life with this simple trick from The Barefoot Contessa.

Lauren Wicks
November 18, 2019

Tis the season for baking, but if you're anything like us, it may have (unfortunately) been a while since you've had the time to whip up a batch of cookies or holiday-inspired cake. You may open your pantry to find a hardened bag of brown sugar after a few months of sitting idly on the shelf, but have no fear! You can bring it back to life with this super simple tip from the one and only Ina Garten.

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Ina and her pal, Jennifer Garner, recently collaborated with Walmart Community Table to serve up a Thanksgiving feast for families in need in the Los Angeles area. Here, Garner—Garten's biggest fan—asked The Barefoot Contessa several important kitchen questions pertaining to the holidays. And just like us, she was wondering what in the world to do with a stale bag of brown sugar.

Garten said it's important to keep your brown sugar in a sealed container to prevent this from happening in the first place, but if it still becomes rock hard, she advises popping your brown sugar in the microwave to give it a chance to soften up.

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Hilary Meyer, contributing editor at EatingWell, says the best way to go about this is to top your brown sugar with a few moist paper towels before placing it in the microwave. Heat your brown sugar in 30-second increments until it feels good as new. In just a few minutes you've saved yourself a buck, a trip to the grocery store and some unnecessary food waste. That's a big holiday win in our book!

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