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NEWS
October 3, 2012
Ever open up that box of brown sugar only to find it's as hard as a rock? It's probably happened to all of us and few things are as frustrating, especially when you're in the middle of a recipe. Brown sugar normally has a soft and fluffy texture, almost like wet sand, owing to a moist molasses film. But when it's exposed too long to dry air, that moisture evaporates, causing the sugar to harden. But those lumps of hardened sugar can be resoftened. If you can spare the time, seal the sugar in an airtight bag with something moist -- a slice of bread, a wedge of apple, or a piece of citrus zest -- for a few days to soften it. When you need the sugar quickly, heat it up. Place the sugar on a baking sheet and warm it in a 200 to 250 degree oven until it starts to soften, several minutes or so. Or microwave it: Place the sugar in a microwave-safe bowl covered with a damp paper towel, or damp kitchen towel, and heat in 30-second increments until the lumps break up easily and the sugar softens.
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FOOD
April 23, 2014
2 1/4 cups flour 1 cup brown sugar, packed 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 3/4 cup corn oil 1 cup sliced almonds 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 egg 1 cup buttermilk Mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and ginger. Blend in oil until smooth. Remove 3/4 cup mixture and combine with almonds and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
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NEWS
December 11, 2012 | By Noelle Carter
Rich brown sugar shortbread has caramel and molasses notes. This recipe makes enough dough for two pans' worth of cookies, so you can try your hand at baking them in round pans or as bars. Baked in pans, the wedge cookies will retain more moisture, giving the cookies a chewy texture. Conversely, the bar cookies will be crisp because they are baked on an open, flat sheet. Either way, they make great gifts (provided you don't eat them all first). RECIPES: 25 homemade holiday gift ideas!
NEWS
August 13, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
People who are learning to eat gluten-free could always just have an apple for a snack, but sometimes a cookie is really what's needed. And now I have an oatmeal bar that fits the bill. I asked readers to send in gluten-free recipes they like, and Lisa Cantkier of GlutenFreeFind.com sent in one for Gluten-Free Fruit and Nut Bars. They are full of good things like nut butter (I used peanut, crunchy), dried fruit and nuts. They are dense, not far from the consistency of packaged bars, but super-delicious.
FOOD
May 5, 2012 | By Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times
Dear SOS: I was recently in Atlanta visiting a friend. She took me to Highland Bakery, where I had the most delicious sweet potato pancakes. Can you please try to get the recipe? Thank you so much. Stacy Wawerchak Redondo Beach Dear Stacy: Fresh off the griddle, these warm and tempting sweet potato pancakes are lightly spiced and deliciously aromatic. You could top them with maple syrup, but they're best drizzled with Highland Bakery's rich praline-like brown sugar butter sauce.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2002 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Rick Famuyiwa's "Brown Sugar" is a sly and sophisticated romantic comedy with a depth of characterization matched by its appreciation of the world of hip-hop. It's a mainstream movie in the best sense: an all-too-infrequent big-screen depiction of successful, affluent African Americans facing complex personal and professional choices. Pictures like "Barbershop" and "Brown Sugar" provide crucial balance to urban action dramas.
FOOD
November 6, 1986 | JOAN DRAKE, Times Staff Writer
Question: Is it possible to transform granulated white sugar into brown sugar? Answer: To make the equivalent of one-half cup of brown sugar, blend one-half cup granulated white sugar and two tablespoons unsulfured molasses. It is preferable to make the mixture as needed. If the brown sugar is to be combined with other ingredients, it's not necessary to pre-blend the granulated sugar and molasses. Q: Can you tell me how much salt there is in one stick of butter?
FOOD
April 26, 2000 | ROBERT WEMISCHNER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Jaggery. Piloncillo. Muscovado. Names for new punk rock bands? Guess again. They're all sugar, made from either the juice of a grassy cane or tree sap. With the rise of interest in ethnic cuisines, the curious seeker of new ingredients need look no further than this most common of staples to find a world of subtle differences.
FOOD
February 11, 2010
Momofuku's Crack Pie Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling and chilling times Servings: Makes 2 pies (6 to 8 servings each) Note: Adapted from Momofuku. This pie calls for 2 (10-inch) pie tins. You can substitute 9-inch pie tins, but note that the pies will require additional baking time, about 5 minutes, due to the increased thickness of the filling. Cookie for crust 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 1995 | CHEO H. COKER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"This is ridiculous!" Michael Beardon, who has worked as Madonna's musical director, expresses his astonishment aloud as he watches the excitement build in the hours before show time at the Supper Club, a hot spot just half a block from the dazzle of Times Square. As a 15-year industry veteran, Beardon, 31, has seen his share of mob scenes, but he repeats his amazement over what is unfolding as recording artist D'Angelo makes his New York City club debut.
FOOD
July 20, 2013 | Noelle Carter
Dear SOS: During my family reunion in Portland, Ore., this past summer, we stumbled upon what we all decided were the tastiest beer nuts. We had them at Deschutes Brewery at 210 NW 11th Ave. I also discovered, upon returning to California, that some of my friends didn't know what beer nuts were! I would very much like to make some and share with them. Beverly Matsuda Irvine Dear Beverly: Deschutes Brewery was happy to share its recipe for this classic sweet-and-salty bar snack.
FOOD
May 25, 2013
  45 minutes. Serves 2 to 4 Sautéed apples 1/3 cup raisins 1/2 cup rum 3 apples, preferably Granny Smith, cored, peeled and each cut into 8 slices 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1. In a small saucepan, combine the raisins and rum over medium-low heat just until the rum warms and begins to soften the raisins. Remove from heat and set aside until the raisins are softened and plump.
FOOD
May 25, 2013
  30 minutes. Serves 2 to 4 1 cup (4.25 ounces) flour 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup sweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon espresso powder 2 tablespoons brown sugar Zest of 1 orange (optional) 4 eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup milk 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional) 1/4 cup (½ stick) butter Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder, brown sugar and orange zest. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, milk and almond extract, then beat the egg mixture into the flour.
NEWS
February 22, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
Predictions, previews and party nibbles! Check out this video to get up to date on all things Oscars.  RECIPES: 16 winning recipes for your Academy Awards party! From cocktails to classic party nibbles to film-inspired treats, we've got all your recipe needs covered for this year's Oscars party! We've compiled 16 winning recipes for your Oscars-viewing pleasure. Continue reading below for our recipe for caramel popcorn and check out our recipe gallery for more ideas . ALSO: Food photography 101 Go behind the scenes at the Test Kitchen Browse hundreds of recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen Noelle Carter on Facebook , Google+ , Twitter and Pinterest . Email noelle.carter@latimes.com . CARAMEL CORN Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes Servings: Makes a generous 12 cups Note: From Donna Deane 12 cups popped corn 1 cup toasted salted peanuts 1 cup toasted salted almonds 2 cups toasted salted pecans 1 cup (2 sticks)
NEWS
January 29, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
Both tart fresh apple slices and dried apple chips flavor this salad, tossed with sliced onion, lightly spiced candied almonds, julienned strips of chicken and creamy goat cheese. The salad is tossed with a bright Champagne vinaigrette. The whole recipe, including the candied almonds, comes together in about an hour, perfect as a side or a light meal. For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery . Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix several dishes in an hour or less.
NEWS
January 20, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
This week's Culinary SOS request comes from Annette Farmer in Mar Vista: "I understand that the previous incarnation of the cafe at Nordstrom in the Westside Pavilion is now closed. They used to have a chicken salad that included chicken breast, green apple slices, baby greens or spring mix greens and some sort of cheese (possibly goat milk but not feta) and a very light dressing. Any chance you can get your hands on that recipe?" Both tart fresh apple slices and dried apple chips flavor this salad, also tossed with sliced onion, lightly spiced candied almonds, julienned strips of chicken and creamy goat cheese.
FOOD
April 25, 1996
It was interesting to see the recipe for Brownstone Front Cake ("Home Cook;" March 28). I copied a completely different recipe for Brownstone Front Cake from Rose Dosti's column in about 1974. This one was made from chocolate, sour cream, brown sugar, etc. I've made it several times and it is delicious. --SUZANNE STONE Santa Ana I didn't dream that a burnt sugar cake was a thing of the past. I have a recipe that is much like yours except for a few small changes. The icing is different, too: To make my icing, I cook 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup cream, a pinch of cream of tartar and 1/4 cup caramel syrup together to the soft ball stage and then beat it until it's creamy.
NEWS
January 11, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
Nothing can kill a good recipe faster than a lack of spice. Even kitchen staples such as dried herbs and spices have an expiration date and can lose their potency over time. Properly stored, spices can last a year or two at most, with whole spices generally lasting longer than ground. Store your spices in a cool, dry place, away from moisture, and keep them tightly sealed. Whenever I open a new spice jar I date the back so I can keep tabs on how long it's been open. Once a year, I'll rummage through the collection and check on them.
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