Sunday, February 20, 2011

Candied Orange Peel

    Candied orange peel. I had never tried candied citrus peel of any kind before, so of course I had to make this when I came across the recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Closet Cooking. I took some to work to share with some co-workers before I had dunked them in chocolate, and they were met with great approval. The next day after they received their chocolate bath, my brother was visiting and he could barely stop eating them. So be warned, these could be habit forming....

     The whole process is quite lengthy and kind of a lot of work, but I think overall it's worth the work.
First you peel the oranges, then cut the peel into thin slices. Then boil them in plain water for 15 minutes. I chose to boil them twice to take out some more of the bitterness of the peel. Just change the water and boil for another 15 minutes. Then bring sugar water to a boil, and simmer the peels in that for 40 to 45 minutes, just until the peels are nice and tender. Drain the peels well (save the leftover syrup, it's great in tea and whatnot) and then toss the peels in sugar. Then let them sit on cooling racks for 2 days. Then you can either eat them plain or go extra addictive-ridiculous and melt some dark sweet baking chocolate (I used 2 1/2 dark chocolate baking bars) and dip the peels halfway in the chocolate and then let that dry on wax paper. Then try not to eat them all at once, which might prove to be difficult.

Also bonus to these things: you can build mini-forts with them. They are like food lincoln logs!

Candied Orange Peel (from Closet Cooking)
3 oranges
2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup sugar

1. Cut the top and bottom from the orange.
2. Cut the peel each orange into 4 vertical pieces and remove from orange in one piece.
3. Cut the peel into thin strips.
4. Cook the peels in boiling water for 15 minutes, drain and rinse.
5. Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat in a sauce pan.
6. Add the peel, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peels are tender, about 45 minutes.
7. Drain and toss the peels in the sugar. Note: You want to drain the orange peels well. If you just throw them straight from the syrup into the sugar, the sugar will clump up. (Tip: Save the syrup and use it in ice tea.)
8. Place the peels on a cooling rack and let them sit until the coating is dry, anywhere from 24-48 hours.
If you want to dip them in chocolate, just melt 2 chocolate bars of your choice in a double boiler or the microwave, dunk the peels, and let them dry on wax paper.

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