Friday, December 24, 2010

Last-Minute Christmas Candy Idea: Chocolate-Covered Candied Orange Peel

Well. Christmas Eve. Do you have cookies in every corner of your house yet? Of course. But what about candies? Homemade candies?

Or dear. Did you forget? It’s alright. Today, I've got a simple candy recipe for you – one for which you probably already have all ingredients right at home. All you need is sugar, water, chocolate (of course), and orange peel.

I find this strange, because orange peel is usually considered, well, garbage. But today, we’re working on the principle that you can take almost anything, cook it in sugar for an hour, cover it in chocolate, and then call it candy. And with instructions from Jen at Use Real Butter, it couldn't be easier. So let’s go.

Chocolate covered orange peel (adapted from Use Real Butter)

Peel from 4 oranges

3 cups sugar

1 cup water

6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate (Scharffen Berger 70% cocoa bittersweet)

The first order of business is to wrangle your oranges.

Cut them in half and juice them to simplify removal of the pulp. Then cut them into quarters and scrape out the innards with a spoon.

This is not as hard as you might think, and this part only took me about 10 minutes. Next up, cut the peel into ¼” strips.

Take the strips, place in a pot filled with cold water, and heat to a boil. Drain water, fill the pot with more cold water and repeat the process two more times (e.g. bring to a boil three times total). The peel should be a bit softer and more translucent now.

Now to turn this into candy: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat until it reaches “thread” stage (just before “soft ball” stage). Add the peel and reduce heat to medium; cook peel until translucent while stirring periodically; this will take about 40-50 minutes. Let the peel dry on a cooling rack

Then get out the best part: CHOCOLATE.

Carefully melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove from heat and dip the candied orange peel in piece-by-piece, taking care to keep one end free of chocolate to make the candies easier to pick up and eat. Shake off excess chocolate, and set on parchment paper to dry.

It’s alright to eat one or two before they dry. But do allow at least a few to set up, because these are beautiful and impressive to friends and family, despite being so easy.

Did you make any candies for the holidays this year?


  1. I love these! I think of the blog Orangette and writer Molly Wizenberg. I will make these! I am inspired! I haven't made any food gifts this year due to lack of time. I wanted to go to the Ethel M chocolate factory and take holiday photos to send you (best light display in Vegas) but picked up extra brewhouse shifts instead. Alas. Merry Christmas, East Coast! Wishing you endless sugarplums, Victoria!

  2. Thank you, Victoria. You've finally made somethign that I have absolutely no interest in ;) I can smell out orange in my chocolate from a mile away, and it ain't a winning smell in my mind ;) I shall continue dreaming about your cookie dough frosting, and leave this be for the minute :)

  3. Neat idea!!!!!!!Had no idea this was so simple!
    Merry Christmas!

  4. @onebrewhouse I LOVE Ethel M, but haven't been there in almost a decade. A post with some photos there would tickle me silly.

  5. @Hannah Haha, Hannah, you crack me up endlessly. You could always candy lemon or lime peel instead. Maybe grapefruit.

  6. @fitchocoholic It is definitely easy - you could do it at home if you have just oranges and sugar! Merry Christmas!

  7. I don't think I've even tried candied orange peel, which seems odd. It definitely sounds easy enough to make! Also, I don't generally like citrus-flavored chocolate, but can imagine this being much better since it uses fresh peel.

  8. @Jessica @ bake me away! It sort of only has a faint hint of's really just a vehicle for delivering concentrated sugar.