I’m obsessed with chocolate-covered orange peels. Then again, I’m also a huge fan of the orange-chocolate combination. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to give this recipe a try!
These are surprisingly simple to make (you just have to be pretty exact about the process) and aren’t nearly as bad for you as regular chocolate. However, they’re just as delicious! Before you begin making these, here are a few tips:
- Blanch the peels after you’ve cut them and before you begin the candying process. They tend to be very bitter, so blanching them helps draw out some of that bitterness.
- High quality and/or organic oranges really do make a difference! It’s all about the flavor of the peels.
- Make sure you don’t over-candy them. At a certain point, the orange peels in the saucepan will cease to become fragrant and will begin to taste funny.
- Your peels won’t actually become “translucent,” as described in the recipe, so don’t let this lead to over-cooking. Because you’re candying at home, you’re not going to get the same effect as buying candied oranges in store.
- You will have a lot of peels. 1 orange can yield 12-20+ strips alone. Given that removing the peels from the oranges can be rather time consuming, keep this in mind!
To make these, I combined a bunch of recipes from around the internet, so here is what I ended up doing:
- 2 navel oranges
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- extra sugar for dusting
- Wash the oranges thoroughly and quarter them. You need to remove as much of the pith from the peel as possible (the pith is what gives the peels their bitterness), so what I did was slice out the flesh of the orange (you can use this later in salads). Then I sliced the quartered peels into the desired thickness and tried to cut off as much of the pith as possible from there. (It’s much easier to do this once you have made the slices.)
- At this point, you can blanch the peels 1-3 times, as desired.
- Place the peels, water, and sugar in a small saucepan (the smaller the better — mine was a little too big) and stir until the sugar dissolves. At this point, simmer the peels in the sugar/water mixture for 20-30 minutes, until the peels thicken and become more translucent.
- Remove peels from saucepan with a fork and let cool. After 10-15 minutes, you can coat them with extra sugar if desired.
- Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler. Dip each peel into the chocolate as desired, and place on a plate to cool and harden.
That’s it! You should have far more peels than are photographed here (my dad ate most of them before I got a chance to take pictures), and they are perfect for satisfying a sugar rush or for adding some festivity to a holiday party.