Valentine's-ey, festive real food treat: Chocolate covered candied orange peels
My most festive project this week was the DIY heart appliqué pillow tutorial I shared on Wednesday, so if you still have time for some holiday craftiness, that post is for you. But if you have time for a little extra prep in the kitchen today (or any time, really), do try these candied orange peels! Perfect for Valentine's Day or whenever you want a wintery, chocolate-ey, citrus-ey treat!
I like to think of these as a real food dessert treat--nothing heavily processed, and not too much added sweeteners or hard-to-pronounce ingredients. You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand, but these are definitely a good gluten-free, grain-free, processed sugar-free treat you can feel good about indulging on! (We did a 21 Day Sugar Detox in January, so anything even slightly sweet still tastes like a real splurge to me. Especially something super sweet like oranges and chocolate!)
Chocolate covered candied orange peel recipe
- 2 oranges
- 2-3 cups plus 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or other natural granulated sweetener would probably work)
- Chocolate chips (these are great and soy free) or dark chocolate (or make your own with cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sweetener, and vanilla)
Optional equipment: Dehydrator (this is mine and I love it!)
Instructions1. Score the oranges into quarters and carefully peel off the quarters of skin. Slice it into very thin vertical slices (mine were about 1/4" thick).
2. Boil the 2-3 cups water in a small saucepan and blanch the orange peels (this removes bitterness). Some recipe skip this step, but it does help, and you can do it as many as three times if you really want to take out the tang.
3. Heat the 1 cup water and 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar in a small pan and add the orange peels; coat them with the sticky sugar water. Heat on very low 20-30 minutes until the peels have soaked up almost all the water. (If using cane sugar, you can't stir the mixture because it can form sugar crystals, but I stirred mine a ton to coat the peels plenty and had no issues with crystals forming.)
4. Dehydrate, bake, or dry the peels (time depends on heat). I did mine in our dehydrator at 125 degrees overnight and they came out perfect. (You can get the most basic or the most fancy dehydrator as well!)
5. Melt the chocolate on a double boiler or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Pour it into a skinny container (I used a shot glass!) and dip the peels into it at least halfway or as desired.
6. Lay chocolate-ey peels on wax paper and refrigerate to cool. Serve and impress your guests!
Of course, they go a little better in an orange dish...
Great for any time (especially in the winter, warm weather orange season!) when you want a tropical, fruity, chocolate-ey treat!
Better than any storebought candy I've had in a while!!