This brilliant hack comes in handy time and time again. 

By Jake Cohen
Envision/Getty Images

There are few things worse than starting a recipe, only to find you’re missing an ingredient. However, if it happens to be the light brown sugar you need for your chocolate chip cookies, you’re in luck. Brown sugar is actually something you can make at home. You’ll want to take the time to make your own, too, because it adds so much more than just sweetness to your baked goods. The molasses in the sugar adds moisture and chewiness to the finished product.

You only need two ingredients—granulated sugar and molasses—to make your own brown sugar at home. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat 1 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses until well incorporated (this yields 1 cup of light brown sugar). If it's dark brown sugar you need, use 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons molasses (giving you a higher percentage of molasses).

Let’s say cracking out a mixer isn't an option. You can mix the sugar and molasses by hand, but it’s going to take a little extra elbow grease. A fork is your best bet for stirring the molasses into the sugar until completely incorporated. 

RELATED: How to Soften Brown Sugar

It's worth it to keep molasses around the house for more than just DIY brown sugar. It can be used in so many surprising ways, from spiked cider to tiramisu.