How to Make Cotton Candy Floss

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If you have never made homemade cotton candy because you thought you needed an elaborate mechanical setup to do so, then you and your family have been missing out on an incredibly fun--albeit potentially messy--dessert project. You can make your own cotton candy floss at home with nothing more than a few items that you may already have in your kitchen cabinet. Be sure to allow plenty of time for this experiment, then get ready to have some fun.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
  • Food coloring
  • Strawberry flavoring oil (or flavor of your choice)
  • Large glass bowl
  • Wooden spoons
  • Wire cutters
  • Old whisk
  • Garbage bags
  • Duct tape
  • Sauce pan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Cut the wires at the end of the whisk using the wire cutters. Cut them so that instead of having a rounded end, the whisk now has a bunch of tines that point downward out of the handle.

  • Duct tape the wooden spoons so that they hang off the edge of the kitchen counter. They should be about 6 to 12 inches away from each other, and as much of the spoons' handles as possible should be hanging off. Tape the bowl end of the spoon for greater stability.

  • Place several large garbage bags on the floor under the spoons. You may wish to tape these down as well.

  • Heat the candy ingredients (5 cups of granulated sugar, 1-1/3 cups of light corn syrup,1 cup of water, several drops of food coloring, candy flavoring oil) in the sauce pan. Do not use any heat greater than medium or you will scorch the sugar to the bottom of the pan. As you heat the ingredients, they will form a sticky liquid. Use the candy thermometer to measure the liquid and remove it from heat when it reaches 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Pour the liquid into the glass bowl. Be very careful because it will be extremely hot.

  • Create your cotton candy floss. Dip the whisk's tines into the sugar mixture, then wave them about 18 inches over the wooden spoons so that the sugar falls in strands across the spoons. As the liquid falls through the air, it will cool and create cotton candy floss. Continue to do this until the spoon handles are covered in cotton candy. You can roll this candy up in paper and eat it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not try to store this cotton candy as it will usually collapse into a sugary mush if you try to save it.
  • This candy experiment involves very hot liquids and should not be conducted without adult supervision.

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