Chocolate-dipped candied orange rind

December 10, 2008
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Makes enough for 4 gifts

Take a few minutes to cut away as much pith as possible from each piece of rind; the end result will be less bitter. With or without chocolate, wrap the strips in cellophane bags tied with ribbons.

6 navel oranges
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
Extra sugar (for rolling)
16 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate or chips
1. Cut off the top and bottom of each orange. Score the rind into quarters without cutting into the flesh. Using your thumb to loosen each piece, peel off the rind (save the flesh for fruit salad) With a small paring knife, cut away as much of the pith (the white part) as possible. Cut each piece lengthwise into 1/3-inch strips.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the orange strips with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a boil and drain into a colander. Repeat this process 2 more times.

3. In the same pan, combine the sugar and the 1 cup of water. Set the pan over low heat. Stir several times until the sugar dissolves. With a wet pastry brush, brush the sides of the pan to remove or dissolve any sugar crystals. Bring to a boil. Add the orange pieces. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or until the rind is tender and somewhat translucent.

4. Drain the rind into a colander.

5. Put the sugar into a shallow bowl. With tongs, add a few pieces of rind and toss them to coat them all over. Transfer to a wire rack. Continue with the remaining rind. Let it dry for several hours.

6. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Set it over hot but not boiling water until the chocolate melts. Dip the ends of each piece of orange rind into chocolate. Dry on a wire rack for several hours. Karoline Boehm Goodnick

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