Sunday, December 2, 2012

Candied Citrus Peels! Let The Christmas Cooking Begin!

Yes, it's that time of year!  Time to make some of the delightful treats that we enjoy during Christmas.  One of my favorites is Candied Citrus Peels.  They are wonderful with a hot cup of herb tea or hot cocoa!

To make them, start by cutting your oranges in half and juicing them.  Drink the juice, you won't be needing it for this recipe.  Toss the peels into a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil.

Drain and Repeat 2 more times.   This helps to remove the bitterness of the peels.

Take a spoon and remove any of the orange membrane remaining, it's very easy to remove after the last boil.  Cut your peels into strips or shapes or bits...what ever you desire.  

Weigh the peels and add an equal weight in sugar.  Mix together in a deep bowl and let them sit out on the counter over night.  The sugar will draw out the moisture in the peels and you will have a syrupy mixture ready to cook.   Next morning place them in a pan along with the syrup that was created over night and bring to a boil over medium heat.  DO NOT STIR.  Swirl the pot if you must.  Stirring can cause sugar crystals to form.  Make sure they do not burn.  You want to bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer until the liquid is about half and the peels are translucent.

Drain and place on a jelly roll sheet lined with granulated sugar.  Put a lot of sugar down on your tray, these are sticky.  Toss in the sugar until completely coated, separating the pieces as you work.  Using a slotted spoon, remove them to a piece of parchment paper, freezer paper or paper bag to dry overnight. 

Next morning, place your golden strips into a jar or container for safe keeping. 

Don't toss the remaining syrup or the sugar, you can use both in baking.  No wasting here.  

You can dip the strips into dark chocolate for a delightful treat!  Let them dry completely and then package for gifting!  They are such a sweet treat, a little goes a long way!

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