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Everyday Erica is a space where I can be creative and share my recipes, travels, fitness ventures, and overall life experiences with the ones I love. I currently live Denver and enjoy all the things the mountains and city have to offer. I'm a planner who has learned you can't plan for life, so I'm going to enjoy the ride while I've got this chance. 

Candied Orange Peels

Holy crap. Christmas is in 5 days, friends. Even though I am somewhat in denial about the holiday being like right now, I am proud to say I was done with my Christmas shopping and shipping on Tuesday. High five for me. But now I am in crunch mode; hunkering down and making little homemade treats for my local people and co-workers. I've made a few batches of my Rosemary Lemon Sea Salt and now I am on to these guys...

Truth be told, I can't stop snacking on these myself. I NEED to give them away fast. More truth, I'll probably just stash a jar away for a little treat here and there.

These little jewels take a bit of time to make, but they are totally worth it. Your dentist will hate you, but everyone else will love you. It's just your dentist, you see them twice a year, who cares right?!

Candied Orange Peels

Adapted from Epicurious

6 large naval oranges

4 cups of water

4 cups of sugar, plus more for rolling

Cut the tops and bottoms off each orange. Make about 6 slits along curve from top to bottom of each orange, cutting slightly through peel but not into fruit. Using your fingers, gently remove peel. Slice each piece of peel lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips. Trim excess pith from each strip. You can use a vegetable peel for this if that's helpful.

Place peels in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and repeat. 

Bring 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water to a boil over medium heat, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves. Add the peels, return to a boil, then and reduce heat to a simmer for an hour without stirring. Once the peels are translucent in color, turn off the heat and let the peels cool for about 5-10 minutes in the syrup. 

Using a slotted spoon or fork, transfer the peels to a rimmed baking sheet and toss with sugar, separating each strip. Transfer the peels to a wire rack, piece of foil or parchment paper to dry. Coating will take about 24 hours to dry. 

You can use any kind of citrus. I had oranges on hand, but I think grapefruit or lemon would be yummy. 

Save the fruit for other uses - I froze mine for smoothies. Save the sugary simple syrup by straining it through a fine mesh sieve or strainer and use it for cocktails or pancakes!