Delicious food recycling—of the beautiful oranges in the market this time of year.  Carefully peeling the outer skin from the pith leaves a brightly colored, strongly flavored part of the orange that often ends up in the compost pail.  Add sugar, lots of sugar, then chocolate. For a tangle of sweet orange peels, slice them into narrow strips.  But for a generous dip of your choice of chocolate, leave the strips a little wider.  A novel Valentine treat. 

  • Using a sharp vegetable peeler, carefully cut strips, top to bottom, from 2 large oranges. Cut only the orange peel—leave the white pith behind.
  • Simmer the strips gently in 2 cups water for about 15 minutes, to remove some bitterness. Drain and set aside.
  • Combine 2 cups water and 1 cup sugar in medium saucepan—heat until sugar dissolves. Add orange peels and bring syrup to gentle simmer.  Set timer for 20 minutes—stir occasionally and maintain gentle simmer.  Syrup will start to thicken, and peels will soften—check by testing with fork.  Remove from heat and let sit for 5 more minutes. 
  • Put ½ cup sugar in flat bowl. Lift orange peels from syrup, let drain, then place in bowl of sugar.  Working quickly, get all orange peels into sugar and toss until well coated.  Place on rack to cool and dry.
  • Melt ½ cup chocolate chips (any type) in custard cup in simmering water.
  • Dip one end of sugared peel into chocolate, let drain, then set over edge of rack to dry.

The Kitchen Hive

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