Gilded Spun Sugar
Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring all ingredients except cooking spray to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves and brushing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Boil without stirring until caramel begins to turn dark amber, about 10 minutes.Advertisement
Place pan in an ice-water bath, stirring until cool (syrup is ready when it starts to thicken but still flows in a steady stream). Place 2 skillets or wooden spoons about 8 inches apart on a work surface, with handles slightly over the edge (spray work surfaces with cooking spray to prevent sticking). Dip a fork, spoon, or clipped balloon whisk in syrup; quickly drizzle syrup back and forth over handles, making thin threads that stretch between them. After each drizzle, gather threads and shape into a small cluster, and set on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet to cool. Store in an airtight container overnight. (If weather is humid, add a desiccant packet, and use the same day.)
The right tool helps you spin sugar quickly and easily: Just clip the tips off a balloon whisk with a wire cutter and use to drizzle.