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Tips for baking with sugar…

**When a recipe says to cream together the fat (such as butter or shortening) and sugar this is not simply a way of mixing these two ingredients together.  The purpose is to get air into the batter.  This mixing causes the sugar granules to rub against the fat producing air bubbles in the fat.  Later when a leavener is added, the leavening gases make the air bubbles larger and cause the batter to rise when placed in the oven.  The length of time that you cream together the fat with the sugar determines the amount of air incorporated that is into the batter.
** Sugar also attracts the moisture in the batter which decreases the amount of gluten formed in the flour.  There are two results.  First, less gluten in the batter produces a baked good with a more tender crumb.  So, recipes that contain a high sugar content produce a baked good with a more tender crumb.  Second,  because not as much gluten is formed, the batter will be lighter. When baked, the batter will be able to rise more and the result will be a baked good with more volume. So, in the end you can end up with fluffier and more tender cakes, cookies etc.

*Granulated white sugar or table sugar~
This sugar has fine to medium-sized granules and is the sugar  most often used in recipes. When heated granulated white sugar takes on a toffee-like color and flavor.

*Confectioners, powdered or icing sugar~
This type of sugar is granulated sugar that has been ground to a powder with cornstarch added to prevent lumping and crystallization. Confectioners sugar can be used in meringues, icings, confections, and some sweet pastry.

*Brown sugar~
This sugar is a refined sugar that varies in color from light to dark brown and has a full-bodied flavor and soft moist texture. The color will depend on the amount of molasses added during processing of the sugar. The darker the color the stronger the taste so use the one you like the best. The same weight of brown and white sugars has the same sweetness. Because white sugar is denser than brown sugar, to get equal sweetness firmly pack the brown sugar so when inverted the cup of brown sugar will hold its shape. Substituting brown sugar for white sugar in a recipe will produce a baked good that is a little moister with a slight butterscotch flavor.

*Baker’s Sugar~
This sugar is superfine. You can make your own by processing granulated sugar in a food preocessor for a couple pulses or you can by it at the store. It will be labeled as superfine, or Baker’s sugar. This will help custards etc cream faster, but in many recipes you can substitute granulated sugar just fine.