A delicious holiday treat as well as a tasty cocktail garnish, these candied orange peels are so easy to make. And the recipe also makes a batch of orange simple syrup too! It's such a winner for cocktail lovers since you get a garnish and a syrup in one!
Thoroughly wash and dry the oranges, then cut off the tops and bottoms of each. Score the orange peel from top to bottom with a sharp knife to create 4 or 5 large sections.
Carefully remove each section with some of the pith and cut into ¼-inch sections. Set aside.
Bring five cups water to a rapid boil in a large saucepan. Add the orange peels and return to a boil for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the peels thoroughly before shaking out the excess liquid. Set aside.
Add one cup water and two cups sugar to the same saucepan and set the heat to medium. Stir the mixture occasionally until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.
Add the boiled orange peels and increase heat to medium-high to boil. Once boiling, immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes.
Remove from heat and drain, reserving both the orange-flavored syrup and the orange peels. Transfer the peels to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside to dry for 12 hours to overnight.
In a bottle or jar you can seal, store the reserved orange syrup in the refrigerator to add flavor to your favorite beverages and cocktails, such as iced tea, club soda, or mixed drinks.
Once the peels are mostly dry, but still a bit tacky, add the remaining sugar to a large Ziploc storage bag and add the peels a few at a time. Seal and shake the bag carefully until the peels are uniformly coated in sugar. Repeat this process with the remaining peels until all are uniformly coated in sugar.
Serve the candied peels immediately as a cocktail garnish, snack, or use as a delicious garnish for ice cream, cupcakes, or cakes. They also make a wonderful addition to homemade cannoli filling. Unused orange peels can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!
Please note that nutrition facts are subject to change based on your choice of ingredients.For best results, leave some of the white pith on each orange peel. If the pith is too thick, carefully remove some of the excess with a sharp knife prior to boiling.To make the orange simple syrup last longer, add a teaspoon of vodka to the syrup before sealing the bottle.We calculated the calories based on using 2 peels to make one cocktail garnish.