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I bake cookies at a relatively large scale (16 qt batches) My recipe calls for both white & light brown sugars. In an effort to make production more efficient I would like to substitute the brown sugar with a combination of cane sugar and molasses.

My question is this: Must we premix the cane sugar with the molasses? Or may we just add the cane sugar and molasses into the mixer at the "creaming" stage? Or add the cane sugar at the creaming stage and the molasses in with the eggs? What would be the anticipated outcome of each scenario?

I am aware of the hydroscopic properties inherent in the brown sugar, but somewhat confounded by the question of whether separating the molasses from the cane sugar, then reuniting them in the dough, would impact this.

  • 2
    Does the recipe call for creaming the sugars with butter? – Cascabel Feb 8 '16 at 20:41
  • Yes. The recipe also calls for molasses (in addition to the existing molasses in the brown sugar) to be added along with the eggs after the sugars have been creamed with the butters. – J Day Feb 8 '16 at 20:47
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As you probably know, the creaming step is important.

Sugar crystals cut up the fat and make a lot of air pockets.

If liquid is added early then the sugars dissolve and creaming doesn't happen.
If there is too little sugar it is less effective.
If there is too much sugar the fat is reduced to a crumbly mass and is not fluffy.

Your recipe calls for a certain amount of white and brown sugar to be creamed and then more molasses to be added with the wet ingredients.

The safest method would be to thoroughly mix your white sugar and the white sugar + molasses to approximate the original recipe and then cream- adding the additional molasses later. Beyond this substitution you are creating your own recipe and it will require some experimentation.

Try adding all the molasses in the initial mix and see if that doesn't dissolve your sugar too much.
Try leaving all the molasses until after creaming.
In both cases- the creaming is successful if the butter is creamy and fluffy. Not a batter and not crumbly sugar.

Obviously I would do these experiments on a smaller portion and not risk a huge batch.

I doubt anyone could tell you exactly how this will turn out without experimenting. I've never seen a table that lists the water concentrations at which creaming is effective.

  • Thank you very much for providing this detailed response to my question. It is kind of you to have taken the time to do so. – J Day Feb 12 '16 at 19:57
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I made a dark treacle cake recently and it also calls for brown sugar and additional treacle. And instinct is telling me creaming the plain white sugar with butter before going on to mix in the molasses (amount required to convert white to brown sugar, as well as the extra the recipe calls for) along with the other liquids would work for your recipe like it did my dark treacle cake.

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