Saturday, January 31, 2009

Orange Peel Candy

Orange Peel Candy

4 medium navel oranges
2-3 cups of sugar, divided
1 cup water
½ tsp. salt
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional
2 tsp. shortening, optional

With a knife, score the peel from each orange into quarters. With fingers, remove peel with white pith attached. Place peel in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered for 30 minutes. Drain and repeat twice.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar, water and salt. Bring to a boil, boil and stir for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Drain peel and add to syrup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until syrup is almost all absorbed, stirring occasionally. (Watch carefully to prevent scorching.) Drain any remaining syrup.
Cool orange peel in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet for one hour. Cut into 1/8 inch to ¼ inch strips. Sprinkle remaining sugar on an ungreased 15 inch x 10 inch x 1 inch baking pan. Sprinkle the strips over sugar and toss to coat. Let stand for 8 hours or overnight, tossing occasionally.
If desired, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Dip one end of each orange strip into chocolate; let stand on waxed paper until chocolate hardens. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Yield: 5 cups.

These turned out surprisingly well. They take quite a while to make, but they are not labor intensive. You just have to be there while they are boiling. Personally I thought the ones dipped in chocolate tasted the best. They tasted like the Candy Oranges that are shaped like oranges and open up when you whack em. The plain orange peel candy were good without the chocolate, they just have a very strong orange flavor. I packaged them up in a little bag, wrapped a ribbon on top and gave them out to my friends as a little Valentines Day gift.

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