healthiest kind of sugar

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Using this alternative sweetener in your home baking makes it possible to cut down on sugar while still satisfying your sweet tooth. Because no one is really satisfied with a square of dark chocolate for dessert (no one!).

Toss: Refined sugar
Use This Instead: Sucanat, or unrefined cane sugar. It's sweeter than regular sugar, with a strong molasses flavor, so a little can go a long way, meaning you use less sugar overall, says Jack Bishop, Chief Creative Officer for America's Test Kitchen, who oversaw the making of ATK's new cookbook, Naturally Sweet: Bake All Of Your Favorite's With 30% to 50% Less Sugar. Using Sucanat instead of regular sugar in their chocolate-chip cookies took the sugar content from 25 grams of sugar per cookie to 15 grams.
Important Tips: If you're swapping refined sugar for any alternative sweetener, you may need to adjust some other ingredients as well. A few cookie-specific discoveries Bishop and his team made during their baking research:
- Use melted butter instead of creamed butter: "Sugar holds onto moisture, which helps make for a chewier cookie," says Bishop. "Without it, you get a cakey cookie. But by melting the butter, you make the make the water in the butter more available to the flour, which gives you chew."
- Scale down your fats: If you cut back on sugar without adjusting your butter, you'll get greasy cookies, because sugar holds onto fats, says Bishop.
- Add extra baking powder or soda: More leavener will help the cookie spread out more, so you don't get a thick, cakey cookie. (Sugar normally helps with the spread.)