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Caramel Squiggles

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yield varies with size.

We’ve adapted the idea for this whimsical garnish from Gale Gand, the pastry chef at Tru in Chicago.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Line a baking sheet with foil, smooth it out, and grease it lightly with vegetable oil. Have a large pan of water and a dessert spoon ready.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring just until the sugar is dissolved but no more. When the sugar darkens to a medium amber, stop the cooking by carefully setting the bottom of the pan in the water.
  • Stir the caramel to cool it slightly and then use the spoon to drizzle the caramel on the foil, about 1 Tbs. at a time, making zigzags, swirls, spirals, and other shapes. If the caramel gets too thick, reheat it gently. After you’ve made a half dozen shapes or so, let them cool and test that the caramel is solid. If the squiggles are still syrupy and you can’t peel them from the foil, cook the caramel to a slightly darker shade of amber and try again.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make these up to-a day ahead, but keep the squiggles at room temperature on the oiled foil, covered with another piece of oiled foil until ready to use.


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