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Chocolate Covered Orange Peels

January 7, 2012

It’s been a rather atypical week in my kitchen. I got a juicer for Christmas (Thanks, Mom!), so I’ve been making juices instead of baking. I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of fruits and vegetables and so far my favorite juice is a green juice made with apples, lemon, kale, spinach, and cucumber. It sounds weird, but it’s actually really delicious and I kind of think drinking it will counteract all the butter and sugar that’s currently in my diet (I’ll just keep telling myself that).

Anyways, just because I’ve been juicing this week, doesn’t mean that I haven’t made anything on the sweet/unhealthy side. Instead of throwing away the peels from some oranges I juiced, I candied them and covered them in chocolate.


First, you peel the oranges and cut the peels into thin strips.


Then you blanch the peels twice in boiling water (to remove their bitterness), simmer them in simple syrup for an hour, let them cool and drain, and then dip them in melted dark chocolate.


The end result is pretty phenomenal. I didn’t even know you could eat orange peels until I saw these in a chocolate shop a couple of weeks ago and attempted to purchase them (when I say “attempted”, I mean that I ordered them along with a number of other chocolate-y items and came home to discover that they never made it into the bag). Since the incident, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them, so when I bought oranges this week, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the peels. Keep your peels, people! They make one delicious treat.

Chocolate Covered Orange Peels
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

4 oranges
Water for blanching
8 ounces water
8 ounces sugar
16 ounces dark chocolate (I used an 11.5 oz bag of Guittard dark chocolate chips and had plenty)

Slice the ends (the tops and bottoms) off the oranges, score them from one end to the other, and then peel the oranges so that the peels come off in one piece. Slice the peels into thin strips and trim the edges if needed.

In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and then blanch the orange peels in the boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and rinse the peels and then repeat the process again—blanching the peels twice removes the bitterness.

In a saucepan, combine the 8 ounces of water with 8 ounces of sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the peels to the simple syrup, cover the pot, and simmer for 1 hour. I would check it every so often and give it a stir to make sure all the peels are submerged. Once cooked, transfer the peels to a rack to cool and drain (I placed wax paper underneath my rack for easy cleanup).

In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the dark chocolate. Dip each of the candied orange peels into the dark chocolate and then place them on parchment paper. Once the chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container.

Makes a big batch or 6 servings according to the original recipe.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Mia January 8, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I think the peels on your pictures are raw. They absolutely cannot have such a colour after boiling… And they also must have different shape.


Connie January 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I can promise you that the orange peels are not raw. They have been blanched twice and simmered in simple syrup for an hour (as I explain in the post). If you are still curious, please try the recipe!


megan mcdaniel February 21, 2012 at 3:24 pm

My orange peels were bright orange, and so beautiful. I also covered mine and think that is key. thank you for a wonderful and yummy treat!


Mia January 9, 2012 at 3:13 am

I have tried already (same recipe from Smitten Kitchen). That’s why I know that the peels look absolutely different after one hour simmering… Probably you have different oranges :)


Connie January 9, 2012 at 8:31 am

Sorry that yours did not turn out the same. I covered my pot when I simmered my peels (unlike Smitten Kitchen). Also it’s important to use thick skinned oranges for this recipe. Thanks for commenting!


sr December 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I can confirm that I made these with great success, and the oranges kept their colour.


Kelly January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Very cute! I made candied citrus over Christmas. (And btw it did stay orange.) It doesn’t look like you fretted too much over removing the white pith. My recipe called to remove that pretty well, by scraping it w/ the back of a spoon. My arms/wrists were killing me! How much do you think it matters? Can you taste the pith? I think it’s just supposed to be a bit bitter. Whattya think? :D


Connie January 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Hi Kelly! Keeping the pith in is totally fine with this recipe–the blanching process really helps remove the bitterness. And any bitterness that may be leftover is balanced out by candying them and covering them in chocolate :)


Joan January 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm

They look delicious! Orange and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations. Right now, my children are going through pound after pound of clementines. Do you think their peels would be thick enough to use for this recipe?


Connie January 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Hi Joan! I think clementine skins may be too thin for this recipe. Your best bet is using something like a navel orange. Hope that helps!


Katye January 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I love chocolate covered orange peels! I use to work at this ice cream store and every once and a while we would make a chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate covered orange peels. OH MY GOSH DELICIOUS! I was definitely guilty of digging out the orange peels with taster spoons.. :) nom nom

The first commenter may have been dealing with oranges dyed with Citrus Red 2. It’s a dye that’s injected into orange peels sometimes to make them look more orange. It’s also a carcinogen. O_o Be careful!


Mari January 13, 2012 at 12:33 am

I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I tried it with organic navel oranges (and YES Mia, after blanching, they do preserve their beautiful bright orange color). I did tweak the recipe just a little bit… I used sugar in the raw and added pure white vanilla extract and just a hint of white rum to the simple syrup and …YUM! My husband fell in love with me all over again. =0)


Connie January 13, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Love your tweaks and additions! They do have that effect on husbands… my husband loved them as well : )


geagea January 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I just made these and are more delicious than I thought they would be. I sprinkled some coconut on a few and made them look extra fancy. I just wanted to ask you though the part that is not covered in chocolate on mine was very soft and even when i was trying to cover them in chocolate I had to be extra careful not to break them. Did I let them simmer for too long? How were yours?


Connie January 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm

The addition of the coconut sounds amazing. I’ll have to try it sometime! The peels will be soft after candying them, but I didn’t find it to be a problem when I was dipping them in chocolate. I’m not sure if they were simmered too long or what. Other possibilities would be that maybe they needed to cool and drain for longer before you started dipping them, or perhaps cutting the peels into wider strips would help. Wish I had a better answer for you. Glad they still turned out delicious though–so glad you tried the recipe!


geagea January 14, 2012 at 8:59 am

Not only that i tried it as a one time thing, but i plan to do it more often. I oftentimes make orange juice at home and would always throw away the peels, now i know how to use them for a delicious treat. Thank you and looking forward to try more of your recipes. I proclaim myself a fan after this.


Noelle P January 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

I made these last night and they are so good! Thanks for the recipe! (Found you on pinterest.)


Nadia February 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I did it yesterday and all my friends loved them! Thank you so much!!!


Sohair March 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Love this recipe! It’s amazing how something that was going to waste could be turned into a delicious addictive treat. Already made it 2 times and right now accumulating some peels in the fridge. (I’m excited to make them again!) Someone said here that a coconut coating makes them look extra fancy and it’s true – they appeared to be sparkling ! And those of my family who tasted them & didn’t have a sweet-tooth preferred the coconut version, but I never really liked coconut (bummer…it’s so healthy). The candied peels without any coating are so good but when the chocolate is added, it takes it to a whole new level! Thank you for sharing :)


Connie March 16, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I’m so glad you love the recipe! It’s definitely one of my favorites!


emily krinsky September 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

As I am dipping my orange peel into the melted chocolate the peel begins to turn black.
Why is that? So I end up covering the entire orange peel with chocolate. Its still delicious
but not as pretty.


Connie September 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

Hi Emily, I’m so sorry that you had this problem. I can’t really say what caused your peels to turn black since mine have always stayed orange. I’m not sure what kind of oranges you bought either. Since you are eating the peels, you want to buy unsprayed/organic oranges. If your peels were treated with chemicals, maybe there was some sort of reaction that made your peels loose their orange color.


Sylvia March 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I absolutely love this recipe! It’s so easy to follow and really yummy. Thanks for sharing it :)


Sandra November 1, 2013 at 6:42 am

I was thinking about these sweet treats so I typed in a search and found your excellent recipe. I have tried it and let heaps of people sample them. They have enjoyed them very much also. Thank you.


Becky November 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I can’t wait to try these! But could you tell me how long I can store them so that I can make them in advance and yet still have great flavor? Also, can I freeze these either before or after adding the chocolate? And, what is the best way to store these?

Thank You!


Jennifer December 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Hi there. I love these. One question: I used a Nestle Dark Chocolate Chip and it was so thick melted that I used maybe 1/3 of a paraffin wax bar (not my preference) just to make it thinned out enough for dipping. The first few were literally coated with heavy goop instead of a elegant chocolate dip. It looks like that did the trick but am waiting on them to dry. Can’t wait to taste them. Any other tips…I’m not a fan of using that wax if not needed.


Connie December 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Hi Jennifer, I hope your peels turned out! Different chocolates have different thicknesses when melted, so it’s possible that the Nestle chips just melt on the thicker side. You may want to experiment with other chocolates. Also, another possibility is that maybe your chocolate was overheated–overheated chocolate is incredibly hard to work with. If you need to thin out chocolate again and don’t want to use wax, a little bit of coconut oil or vegetable oil works as well. Hope this is helpful!


Jen December 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Just tried this today. My peels are still very sticky and a little mushy after drying for 5 hours. Is this normal? Also, what is the best way to store them and how long will they keep?


Connie December 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Hi Jen, The peels will be soft, but I don’t think they should be “mushy.” Were you able to dip them in chocolate alright? The chocolate gives them some structure. I would store them in an airtight container. I’m not sure how long they keep for since they never last long around here :)


Jen December 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Thanks, Connie! I let the sit out for 24 hours and they got to be the consistency I was looking for. They are delish! They are a Christmas gift or they’d be gone already!!


Sharon D January 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm

I stumbled across a recipe for these 30 years ago. If you have a problem with bitterness even after blanching 3 times. First be sure and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the first blanching and delete it for the other 2 times. Then be sure and scrape the pulp (or) pith from the peel. Then drop them into the simple syrup. The rest of the directions are spot on. I have been making these for gifts for friends and family for many years. Never had a complaint.


Bonnie January 26, 2014 at 12:18 am

There was a store in the Bronx in the 50′s and 60′s called Krum’s that mad the best chocolate covered orange peels in the world. Look at what you’ve missed.


Toni C December 7, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Can’t wait to try these out – I found a recipe years ago from Giada where you used a peeler instead of actual thick pieces of rind. I think this will be tastier!

I’m wondering if the simple syrup that is created would be useable? I imagine it would be an orange simple syrup! I do a lot of at home vodka infusions, but whenever I make simple syrup, I only heat it until the sugar dissolves in the water. Think that the hour would make the ss not edible? It would taste amazing in a drink! Do you usually just toss the leftover sugar water, or have you done anything with it?

Thanks :)


vicki January 22, 2016 at 11:22 pm

I dipped uncooked orange peels in chocolate, what are your thoughts on this. It tasted really good. I used cara cara oranges. Then I dipped orange slices and they were good too.

Thanks Vicki


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