There’s no more sophisticated sweet then a bit of candied citrus peel. The process is pretty easy once you get the hang of it—it’s really just a matter of practice and repeat. You boil the peels three times in clean water then cook them in a sugar syrup. Once dried, the peels get tossed in granulated sugar and dipped in chocolate. The same technique works for lemon and grapefruit peel too, but we’re especially fond of candied mandarin peel. Serve these at the end of a fancy-ish meal after dessert and with coffee.
4 large oranges
2½ cups granulated sugar, divided
4 ounces chocolate candy coating pieces (such as CandiQuik)
How to Make It
Using a sharp paring knife, remove peel from oranges in ½-inch-wide strips, cutting from top to bottom following the curvature of the fruit. Scrape away any remaining bitter white pith from the inside of each piece of peel. (Reserve orange segments for another use). Place peels in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Drain peels and repeat process with fresh cold water 3 more times. Drain and set aside.
Combine ½ cup water and 1½ cups of the sugar in medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. Boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add orange peels, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is nearly absorbed, 40 to 45 minutes. Spread peels in a single layer on a parchment paper or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Place remaining 1 cup sugar in a shallow dish; toss cooled orange peels in sugar, turning to coat. Transfer to a clean piece of parchment paper and let stand until dry, about 2 hours.
Melt chocolate candy coating according to package directions. Dip each orange peel halfway in chocolate; place dipped peels on a clean piece of parchment paper or wax paper. Let chocolate-dipped peels stand until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. Layer between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Note: To use chocolate chips instead of candy coating, place 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on HIGH until melted, about 1½ minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
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