Cotton candy, also known as fairy floss or spun sugar, might be one of the most popular sweet treats at the county or state fair, but there is no need to wait for such an event to roll around because you can make cotton candy at home with ease.
The base ingredients for making cotton candy are quite simple. Specialty products can, however, be bought in stores or online for convenience if choosing to make specific flavors, though it is possible to make custom flavors at home as well. Get your cotton candy recipe ready! With these tips for making cotton candy mix, homemade cotton candy is never far from reach.
Cotton Candy Ingredients
Cotton candy mix is easy to put together because it only calls for six simple ingredients: water, sugar, corn syrup, salt, flavor extract and food coloring. To make it, just combine 4 cups of white, granulated sugar with 1 cup of corn syrup and 1 cup of water. Add a pinch of salt.
Once the mixture has been heated to 320 degrees Fahrenheit, add 1 tablespoon of the flavor extract of your choice, such as raspberry, strawberry or lemon. Start with two drops of food coloring and slowly add one drop at a time to deepen the color. From this point, you can move on to actually making and spinning cotton candy.
Customizing Cotton Candy Mix
There are a number of ways to customize a cotton candy mix to suit personal tastes as well as myriad special occasions, such as birthdays, sweet and spooky Halloween treats and light and airy sweets for the Fourth of July. Color and flavor can be customized to your liking.
Customizing Cotton Candy Color
The color is the easiest thing to change when customizing cotton candy mix. For example, the mixture can be dyed to match the color scheme of a party for a birthday or split into three different batches of color to make spun sugar that resembles candy corn when packaged in a bag or spun into a triangle on a candy stick. Try using no food coloring to get white and use orange and yellow food coloring for the other two layers for candy-corn-inspired spun sugar.
To make other colors beyond the premade food coloring options, combine equal parts of the primary colors red, blue and yellow to achieve the right color. For example, use red and blue to make purple or blue and yellow to make green. Mix the drops in a separate white bowl to ensure the color is right before adding it to the mixture.
Customizing Cotton Candy Flavor
The easiest way to customize flavor is to add the flavor extract of your choice, and there are tons of extracts from which to choose. Another way to flavor cotton candy while elevating it to a gourmet level is to flavor the sugar before combining it into the cotton candy mix.
For example, add vanilla bean pods to the sugar in a sealed bag for a day or two to allow the sugar to absorb the aromatics of the vanilla. This can also be done with orange peels, lime zest or lemon zest. Avoid wet ingredients, however, to keep the sugar from clumping together.
Cotton Candy Floss Sugar Flavors
Another way to create a vast range of flavors is to use cotton candy floss sugar, which comes in a huge variety of flavors. While more basic cotton candy floss sugar flavors can be bought at stores like Target or Walmart, highly specific flavors can be ordered online.
Some examples of the wildly unique flavors available include acorn, alfredo sauce and almond coca-cola. Other interesting but perhaps more inviting flavors include amaretto hazelnut, apple blossom and bubble gum. There are many online retailers, most of which offer upward of 300 cotton candy floss sugar flavors from which to choose. With so many options, there is plenty of room to get creative with cotton candy creations.
Molly is a freelance journalist and social media consultant. In addition to Leaf.tv, Molly has written for Teen Vogue and Paste magazine. She is the former assistant editor of the Design and Style section of Paste magazine. View her work at www.mmollyharris.com.