Brown sugar substitute
Posted: 25 March 2011 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Agh, when you think you either: #1: know the recipe by heart #2 think you have everything you need in your pantry, then you don’t. I ran out of brown sugar and used the granulated sugar/molasses substitute for oatmeal raisin cookies. I just added it after the butter, creamed it, then did the rest. The cookies came out too brown, spread out and flat. I’ve never had this problem, should I have mixed the molasses in the sugar first then added it?

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Posted: 25 March 2011 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If you have TCB, look up the Chocolate Fudge Cake.  This cake uses brown sugar over granulated sugar and there are some adjustments to the liquid because of it (I think it’s a reduction).  Maybe your cookies would also require an adjustment in liquid (likely an addition).  I don’t have it here, but if you don’t have TCB, I’ll check it tonight.

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Posted: 25 March 2011 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’ll go take a peek Anne and see if I can find it, thanks !

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Posted: 25 March 2011 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Bernadette - 25 March 2011 05:00 PM

Agh, when you think you either: #1: know the recipe by heart #2 think you have everything you need in your pantry, then you don’t. I ran out of brown sugar and used the granulated sugar/molasses substitute for oatmeal raisin cookies. I just added it after the butter, creamed it, then did the rest. The cookies came out too brown, spread out and flat. I’ve never had this problem, should I have mixed the molasses in the sugar first then added it?

Doubt it makes a difference.  For my brownies, I just add the molasses with the eggs.  You probably just added too much molasses.

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Posted: 25 March 2011 08:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I was very careful to make sure I measured correctly and I did. I also chilled the dough so I’m not sure what happened.

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Posted: 25 March 2011 08:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Bernadette - 25 March 2011 11:20 PM

I was very careful to make sure I measured correctly and I did. I also chilled the dough so I’m not sure what happened.

Can you provide the quantities of sugar and molasses that you use?

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Posted: 26 March 2011 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Cookies are more of a low-moisture dough than cakes or brownies, and even small changes in liquid produce noticeable effects.  I suspect that even properly measured/weighed quanitites of molasses/sugar contain a little more liquid than brown sugar. 

I have to say, every time I’ve tried to sub molasses and white sugar for brown, I end up with too much molasses flavor.  I wonder if there are problems with the common substitution ratios?  Or maybe some molasses brands pack a more powerful punch than what is used commercially?

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Posted: 26 March 2011 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Julie - 26 March 2011 05:56 PM

I have to say, every time I’ve tried to sub molasses and white sugar for brown, I end up with too much molasses flavor.  I wonder if there are problems with the common substitution ratios?  Or maybe some molasses brands pack a more powerful punch than what is used commercially?

I calculate the quantities as follows:

  weight of molasses = weight of brown sugar * .28
  weight of white sugar = weight of brown sugar * .72

The first time I did this for my brownies, people said they were the best ever.  However, I’m sure that the flavor profile of a brownie would tend to hide off flavors more than a cake would.  Still, I did once catch a strong molasses note, but I think it was due to inadequate mixing.  It was gone the next day, after the flavors had melded, and I haven’t encountered it since.

I would think a reduction in the molasses percent would be enough to reduce the flavor.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 12:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I didn’t even taste them, they were beyond help. I used 1/4 cup molasses, actually a slight bit less, to a cup of granulated sugar, as per Rose’s instructions and I found the same on two other sites. . . I think like Julie said (in a nut shell smile ), cookies are just different than a cake substitution on this one perhaps. . .  I have the sugar now and am ready for a rematch!

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Posted: 04 April 2011 02:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Bernadette - 04 April 2011 03:41 AM

I didn’t even taste them, they were beyond help. I used 1/4 cup molasses, actually a slight bit less, to a cup of granulated sugar, as per Rose’s instructions and I found the same on two other sites. . . I think like Julie said (in a nut shell smile ), cookies are just different than a cake substitution on this one perhaps. . .  I have the sugar now and am ready for a rematch!

That substitution cannot possibly be accurate.  A cup of granulated sugar weights 200 g.  1/4 of molasses is about 75 g.  That would give you 275 g worth of material, when 1 cup of brown sugar is about 215 g.  So you’ve got 60 g too much stuff, each of which would contribute to cookie spread.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Going by what Rose and two other sites said, Charles. . .perhaps that substitution was not meant for cookies, I don’t know but obviously it didn’t work. I have my sugar, lesson learned but if you’d like to practice with it, go for it.

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Posted: 04 April 2011 11:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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FWIW, I’ve seen different answers to this:

This site (http://www.ochef.com/91.htm) says Substitute white sugar for brown sugar on a 1 to 1 basis, but add 4 tablespoons of molasses per cup, and decrease the total amount of liquid in the recipe by 3 tablespoons. Perhaps removing the liquid balances the weight and helps reduce spread.

Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_sugar) uses much less molasses:  Brown sugar can be made at home by mixing white granulated sugar with molasses, using one tablespoon of molasses for every cup of white sugar (one-sixteenth or 6.25% of the total volume). Thorough blending will yield dark brown sugar; for light brown sugar, between one and two teaspoons of molasses per cup should be used instead. It is, however, simpler to substitute molasses for an equal portion of white sugar while cooking, without mixing them separately.

I hope that’s helpful.  It looks like, obviously, the more molasses you use, the stronger the molasses flavor, but also the greater the necessity of removing liquid.  I’d think in the Wikipedia scenario, with much less molasses added (1T or 1-2 t.), the liquid compensation would be much less important.

Another way to reduce cookie spread is to use chilled dough, but I think that perhaps in your case it’s the excess liquid.

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Posted: 05 April 2011 02:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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King Arthur’s Cookie book also greatly reduces the molasses, suggesting 1 Tb per cup.  That gets a lot closer to the 215 g/cup for standard brown sugar, although it’s still more.  Given Julie’s comment about the strong molasses taste using the 1/4 cup, it’s clear it’s way too much.  I suspect that all those using that figure copied it from some original source and it became gospel.

(FWIW, I haven’t found that chilling the dough makes any difference at all in the spread of cookies.)

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