I found a recipe for brownies I want to try. It calls for
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
How can I recognize if they mean hard or soft brown sugar? And how much of a difference does it make for the completed brownies if I use the wrong type? Should I just adjust the amount of sugar or other ingredients (and if yes, by how much)? Or do I have to try to make a substitution? I found a question which explains how to make soft sugar, but it requires a food processor, and I don't have one.
Edit Here is a picture of sugars, as Jay suggested per comment:
In Germany, the only type found under the name "brown sugar" (brauner Zucker) is the one in the upper right corner. But I have heard that American recipes might need the kind in the lower right corner, which is not normally available here.
The in the US, light brown sugar always means the one in the bottom left. The bottom right is dark brown sugar and has a higher molasses content. In the US, I typically see the 'brown sugar' in the upper right referred to as 'raw sugar' or the brand 'sugar in the raw'. If you're using a US recipe, it needs the bottom left.
If you don't have any and its an ingredient like in brownies, try adding the molasses and sugar as separate ingredients. 1 Cup of sugar + 1 tablespoon of molasses is about the right ratio for light brown sugar.
If you can't get molasses...try dark corn syrup, honey, or depending on the flavor your want, maple syrup. (A comment from @JasonTrue above mentions that beet syrup is an option as well, althought I haven't tried it.)
As Jefromi suggested, brownie recipes call for the sugar found on the bottom of the picture you have added. Probably the lower left one since it's a lighter brown. However if you are unable to get the brown sugar you are able to easily make it using granulated white sugar and molasses by mixing about 1 cup granulated white sugar with 1 table spoon molasses using a fork.
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