It's orange season once again, one of my favorite parts of winter. I say, embrace it, my friends! Buy yourself a big old sack of oranges and go to town. And just when you think you can't get enough of those oranges, let me blow your mind with one more great orange idea—candied orange peels dipped in chocolate. Winter just warmed right up, didn't it? These are so tasty, so addicting, so utterly delectable, you just might forget that you originally fell in love with the insides of oranges. Serve them as a snack, a sweet appetizer, a simple side with coffee, as a garnish on a slice of cake, or any way you like!
Chocolate Covered Candied Orange Peels
4 oranges 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 16 ounces dark chocolate 1 teaspoon shortening
Directions Heat 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Slice the ends off the oranges, score the peels from end to end in 1/4 inch-wide strips, and remove the peels from the oranges. Place the peels in the boiling water for 3 1/2 minutes. Remove the peels and rinse them in cold water. Return them to the boiling water for an additional 3 1/2 minutes, then remove them again (discard the water from the saucepan) and rinse in cold water. (This process removes all the bitterness from the peels.) Stir the sugar and cup of water until dissolved in the saucepan to create a simple syrup and bring it to a low simmer. Add orange peels, cover the saucepan, and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Check occasionally to prevent scorching, stirring if necessary.
Remove peels to a wire rack and allow to drain and cool completely. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt chocolate with shortening, stirring until smooth. Reduce heat to low and dip peels in the chocolate, leaving the tips exposed. Set on a sheet of parchment paper to cool completely before serving.
HINT: Kick these up a notch and use a chili-infused chocolate for a subtle heat with all the sweet.
HINT: Lemons work well too, but have a slightly more tart taste.