Use these creepy critters to garnish a slice of Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake, then devour with gusto.
Lightly butter 2 large sheets of parchment paper; set aside. Prepare a large ice-water bath; set aside.
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.
Immediately remove from heat; set pan into ice-water bath to stop the cooking.
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.
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.