For that special finishing touch on holiday meals or fancy desserts, candied orange peel makes an elegant and edible garnish. It can also be chopped and used in baked goods or dipped in sugars or melted chocolate to make homemade candy. Specialty food stores and online gourmet retailers sell commercially prepared candied orange peel. You can also make your own at home, with a little time and effort, for a lot less money. You also get the added benefit of a kitchen fragrant with the smell of oranges.
Put 1 cup of water in the saucepan and bring it to a boil while preparing the oranges. This is enough water for the rinds of 4 oranges. If you're preparing more, use more water.
Cut the rind from the oranges using a citrus peeler or paring knife. Cut a straight line from the top of one orange to the bottom. Make 1/4-inch strips by making additional cuts parallel to the first all the way around the orange. Gently peel the strips of orange rind from the orange. Remove any attached pith -- the white material -- from the peeled strips and discard.
Blanch the orange peel in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the water and remove the orange peel. Set aside in a small bowl. Bring more water to a boil and add the blanched peel to the boiling water for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and drain off the water.
Mix 2 parts granulated sugar and 1 part water in the saucepan. Bring it to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the orange peel back into the saucepan, simmering in the sugar mixture for 3 minutes. Carefully pour the peel and the syrup into the bowl, then cover tightly and put in the refrigerator to cool overnight.
Place 1 inch of granulated sugar in shallow bowl. Remove the chilled orange peel from the syrup using a slotted spoon. Place the peel, several pieces at a time, into the sugar and roll the pieces gently until they are coated. Gently lay the sugared peel on a sheet of wax paper to set. Repeat with all remaining orange peel strips, adding more sugar to the shallow bowl, if necessary.
Use the candied orange peel immediately in recipes or as garnish, or keep in an airtight container away from heat. To make an elegant candy, melt some chocolate or white chocolate chips. Dip one end of each candied orange peel into the melted chocolate and allow the excess chocolate to drain off. Place on waxed paper to dry.