Spin elegantly spooky webs atop decadent Halloween cupcakes to concoct easy party treats

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Making homemade spun-sugar candy can be a laborious and sometimes dangerous process, as it involves heating up liquefied sugar to very high temperatures and flinging it about, which can result in splatters that can singe your skin (eek!). However, this recipe for creating a spun-sugar topping for a cupcake is far easier and safer, and results in an elegant “cobweb” effect that makes it an eerily beautiful addition to a Halloween cupcake. We show you how.

First, heat up a quarter of a cup of water and one cup of sugar on medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. While the mixture is cooking, swirl (do not stir!) to even out the heat distribution. When the syrup achieves a light golden hue, remove the pot from heat and set it in an ice bath for five seconds to cool.

In the meantime, oil the bottom of a bowl as you would grease a baking pan or season cast iron. Set the bowl upside down, so the open part is facing down. Dip a fork in the syrup, and then swirl over the under-surface of the bowl. You don’t have to try to make the syrup go in any particular pattern; haphazard is fine. Repeat this step until you have a lot of overlapping syrup threads on the bowl, in a pseudo-spider web shape. Wait a moment to let your web set.

Once the web has cooled and set, gently lift it off of the bowl; it should come off easily without breaking, but do treat it delicately. Push it gently into a smaller shape so that it can fit atop the surface of a cupcake. Set on top of the cupcake, and voila! We prefer to use a chocolate-cake cupcake with chocolate frosting to offset the hue of the cobweb and make its golden-white color pop, but any cupcake will do. Be prepared for lots of “oohs” and “aahs” from your Halloween party guests—and from your Instagram feed followers—when you bust out this amazingly presented Halloween treat!

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