Winter holidays are so full of sweet temptations that it can be hard to choose between from-scratch gingerbread cookies and grandma’s fruit cake and kid-made peppermint bark. Recently I stumbled upon a new favorite that has rocketed to the top of my must-make-and-eat-too-much-of list.
Dark chocolate covered orange peels are so decadent the most difficult part in making them is not eating them all in the process. The sweet tang of the orange combined with the richness of the dark chocolate is close to perfection in my book.
There are many recipes for making these, and there is no right or wrong way. Here is my version, but this is a recipe that is meant to be played with, so don’t feel bound to what’s written.
1 large orange
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup dark chocolate chips (You can use semi sweet chips or you can break up a dark chocolate bar.)
Cut the orange into quarters and scoop out the flesh of the fruit. You will be left with empty skins, but don’t worry if there is still some orange stuck on there as it just adds flavor.
Slice the orange peels into thin pieces. Size and shape don’t matter; they will be irregular and that’s just fine.
Boil the water and sugar, and then add the orange peels. Reduce heat and simmer. Keep it on a low heat for about 45 minutes or until the water has dissolved and the peels are tender.
Remove and set aside on parchment paper to dry for about an hour. They will not feel dry, but they will be less sticky and cooled off.
Melt your chocolate either in a double boiler or carefully in the microwave. Hold the orange peels one at a time by the tip and dip in the chocolate. Be sure to pop every 5th one into your mouth!
Set aside on parchment paper and refrigerate until chocolate is set (about 15-20 minutes).
The recipe above will yield about 20 pieces, depending on how you cut the peels and the size of your orange.
These make a delicious gift for a teacher or neighbor and they are always a big hit at holiday parties. And of course the left over orange flesh can be saved for smoothies. Nothing goes to waste! Enjoy, and make sure you whip up some extras for yourself.
Cindy Wallach lives aboard a 44-foot catamaran on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and two children. She can’t knit, bake, carve, or cook, but she can rebuild sailboat winches, repair a marine toilet, and raise the anchor with a toddler on her back. She blogs about homeschooling, sailing, and their life afloat at her blog.
Rhythm of the Home is an online magazine for families that focuses on creating with children, nature explorations, seasonal celebrations, conscious parenting, and mindfulness in all that we do.