Cook asparagus in 1" salted boiling water for about 5-7 minutes to crisp-tender, or until desired tenderness is reached. (Or microwave the asparagus to desired doneness.) Drain asparagus and return to hot saucepan and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat butter over med-high heat. After about 3 minutes, it should start to foam; stir constantly and add garlic, salt and pepper. Keep stirring. When foaming stops, butter should be browned and kind of "grainy" looking.
Remove from heat; stir in sugar.
Pour browned butter mixture over cooked asparagus. Serve.