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Caramelized Cobwebs and Licorice Spiders

Put these creepy critters by a slice of Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake, then devour with gusto.

  • Yield: Makes 16 to 18

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter, for parchment paper
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick (6 inches) black licorice, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Lightly butter 2 large sheets of parchment paper; set aside. Prepare a large ice-water bath; set aside.

  2. Pour 3 tablespoons water into a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Add sugar. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush 2 or 3 times to prevent crystals from forming. Let syrup boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until syrup is medium amber.

  3. Immediately remove from heat; set pan into ice-water bath to stop the cooking.

  4. Working quickly, drizzle caramel with a spoon onto buttered parchment paper, forming cobwebs. Garnish with small licorice spiders, if desired. Let stand until hardened and cooled.

  5. For the spiders, cut licorice into 12 1-inch pieces; split horizontally. On each end, cut out 2 triangles, forming an M. On each side, cut out 1 triangle from middle. Use caramel to stick to webs.

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