Candied Orange Peels

Readers beware this recipe will take up about 3-4 hours of your day (if you decide to use your oven or all day if you let them dry out), but it is well-worth once you bite into the zesty, sugary treats. And it’s the holidays, which means you can also include these homemade candies in your cookie gift boxes and basket to give to friends and family.

 Ingredients:

  •         4 oranges (can also use lemons or grapefruits)
  •         4 ¼ cups of water
  •         2 1/2 cups of sugar, plus more for coating the peels

Instructions:

  1. Use a knife and carefully peel the skin off your citrus fruits. Try to get the peels long and pretty thin, you don’t want a lot of orange or white rind in your slices.
  2. Slice the peels into long, thin strips approximately ½-inch thick.
  3. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Let the sugar stay on the heat until it boils (around 5-7 minutes).
  5. Add the strips of peel and turn the heat down to low, until the mixture is just at a simmer. Cook, uncovered and simmering, until the syrup reduces to a quarter of its original volume (the syrup will barely cover the tops of the peels). **Do not stir during this process, as that might cause the formation of large sugar crystals. The simmering will take around 2 hours.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cool, drain the peels in a colander.
  7. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees.
  8. Place about one cup of sugar in a small bowl. Dredge the peels in the sugar until they are coated, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Place the sugar-coated peels in the warm oven and allow them to dry out. This should take approximately one hour, but check them every 20 minutes to ensure that they are not burning or cooking in any way. **You can also let the peels sit overnight on a drying rack instead of placed in the oven.
  10. Once peels are completely dry, scrape off any excess sugar clumps. Store them in a dry location and they should keep for weeks. **Candied peels can be dipped in melted chocolate as well.