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I wanted to make these for you and post them before Christmas, but it just didn't happen. I've been eating so many oranges lately - the California Navel oranges have been so incredible for several weeks now - that I hated to see all those peels go to waste.  This seemed like a good time for Orangettes.

Orangettes are candied orange peels that are dipped in chocolate.  I think dark chocolate gives the nicest flavor with the orange.  They are a great little snack and actually go so nicely with a cup of spiced tea

The orangettes are not hard to make, but they do take time to cut the oranges into strips.  Once this is done, you simply blanch the strips three times in boiling water to help remove any bitter taste.  You then simmer them for about an hour in sugar water, roll them in sugar (I like to use coarse sugar) and let them dry.  The next day, you dip them in chocolate - the fun part!  Little bags of them make great little gifts.



for a printable recipe, click here


  • 6 large navel oranges
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 9 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (approximately)

It's best to take two days to make these peels.  Prepare the peels and roll them in sugar the first day. Leave them overnight to dry well before dipping them in chocolate the next day.


Prepare peels: There are a couple of ways to peel these oranges to get the strips.  Try both ways to see which works best for you.

Method #1:  Cut ends off of oranges. With a sharp paring knife, score the entire length from cut end to cut end into strips.  Set orange on cutting board and run your knife down between the white pith and the flesh of the orange.  Turn orange over and do the same on the other side.  Remove strips.  Take the tip of the paring knife and remove any flesh and some of the pith from the strips.

Method #2:  Cut ends off of oranges. With a sharp paring knife, score orange from cut end to cut end on opposite sides of orange. Insert knife between the white pith of the orange and the flesh of the orange and slice around the entire orange. Turn orange over and do this on the other side. Remove peel from flesh.  Lay peel on cutting board and slice into strips.  Remove any additional flesh from peels.

Method #1 - Score the skin into strips 

Remove strips from orange 

Remove flesh from strips 


Method #2 - Cut the peel from orange and then cut into strips


Take the flesh of the oranges and squeeze through strainer or juicer until you get 1 cup of orange juice. Set aside.

Blanch peels:  Fill a medium sauce pan with water and bring to a boil.  Add the orange peels and blanch for two minutes. Drain.  Add fresh water and bring to a boil again.  Plunge the orange peels back in and blanch again for two minutes.  Drain. Repeat process one more time. 

In a medium sauce pan, bring the 3 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water and orange juice to a boil.  Add orange peels and simmer on low for about one hour, uncovered.  Drain the peels and roll in the turbinado sugar.  Set sugared peel on a rack to dry overnight. 

The next day, melt the chocolate and dip your candied orange peels.  Lay them on wax paper until the chocolate cools. These keep in a covered plastic container for quite a while in the fridge.  When they are cold, the chocolate may turn a little pale but if you bring them to room temperature, they darken up again.


And a sneak peek at a surprise project on my needles:

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (27)

Love, love, love this recipe!

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Ambrosino

What an easy, elegant dessert or snack! Wonderful for spring, summer and every season in between. Great recipe, Elaine, and I love your photos. Thanks for sharing!

My mother used to make these and they are delicious. She also used to do grapefruit skins. I think she must have added lots of sugar to the cooking water, though. They, too, were delicious, but I suspect an acquired taste.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarilee

These look gorgeous! I must try making them (and i can't wait t see your knitting project)!

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLollie

Hi, when you say drain and refill the pot with water to boil again do you take the peels out and then put them back in when the water is boiling or do you leave them in?

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

From The Italian Dish:

Kate: That's a good question. I will clarify that in the recipe. Drain the water and orange peels from the pot, refill with water and bring to a boil and then plunge the orange peels back in.

March 24, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

One of my favorites! Can't wait to see you:)

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermaria

Elaine, thanks so much for sharing. I had to wait for a whole year to buy these orangettes from a certain chocolate maker. And this is one of the things that I always like. Now I can make them myself and share with my friends. Love it.

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfaye

Mmm these look so good. If you were going to make them again, which method would you choose?

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

From The Italian Dish:

Mike: I like to use Method #1, scoring the slices on the orange before the peel is sliced off.

March 24, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I haven't made these since last year, but just before Easter is a perfect time to do this because the candied orange peels are perfect for Easter pastiera. Your photos are so terrific and instructive.

March 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterciaochowlinda

Absoutely perfect photos. What a treat. Would love to taste this right now. Thanks.

March 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

These look great! Could you clarify something before I start, though? The ingredients don't list orange juice, but in the instructions you say to simmer the blanched peels in the water, sugar and orange juice. Is the juice optional? If not, how much do you use?

March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMattW

From The Italian Dish:

MattW: In the instructions, right before you blanch the peels, you squeeze the flesh of the oranges until you get about a cup of orange juice.

Hope this helps!

March 28, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

i bought three navel oranges at the farmer's market this morning and my favorite candy is dark chocolate covered orange peel. so far, so good. share them. hah!

March 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternancy

I made them and they are awesome (sono buonissime).
Thank you so much for posting this recipe and the gorgeous photos.

March 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca

Hi Elaine,
I made the orangettes last week with the intention of sharing with my friends. But the rain never stops, and I ate so many of them in one day, they are just too good. I made some more last night, just waiting for them to get dry. I read your recipes again and saw that I made a little mistake of not simmering for one hour, but they turn out well.
Thank you so much for the wonderful photos and recipes. Gracias.

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfaye

My mouth is watering just reading this recipe! Holy cow does it look good!
*puts oranges and chocolate on grocery list*

April 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAbigail Sharpe

April 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercheap

April 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercheap

These look delicious I made a similar recipe from Mario Batali without the chocolate dipping. The recipe says that you have to remove the pith after you boil them I see that your recipe doesn't I wonder if the bitterness is less with or without the pith.

May 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Yes, i was told (from a different recipe) to "slice away as much of the pith as possible"... but now i am left with skinny, skinny peels after simmering :(

i suspect it would probably be a good idea to slice away MOST of the pith, but not all; also worth mentioning is that i blanched them 3 times, and no bitterness at all was detectable! Now, on to the chocolate dipping...!

September 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterheather em

Hi Elaine! Thanks for such an informative post, I never realized there was such an easy way to make candied orange peels! I have a question about storage. My mom is a huge lover of these and I would like to make them for her for Christmas, but I need to ship them. Do you think it would be possible to leave them plain without the melted chocolate? Would the peels themselves stay fresh at room temperature while shipping? I was thinking I could just send a bar of chocolate in the package for her to melt herself and dip the orange peels into. I thought it would almost be like an interactive Christmas present so she could do the easy part of the process and have fun at the same time! What are your thoughts?

October 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah H.P.

From The Italian Dish:

Sarah: Leaving them plain would be just fine. They will definitely hold up better without the chocolate on them. I would ship them express, though. They will be fine at room temperature and then your mom can dip them. I think that's a great idea.

October 31, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Thanks so much Elaine! It's definitely on my to-do list for Christmas then! I'll let you know how she reacted after Christmas! Thanks again!

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah H.P.

The more I look at this recipe, the more I want to try them! I have a question though: I'd very much like to make these as a dessert for a get together I'm attending on Saturday, but it's also a sort of wine-tasting party. Since I turned 21 this year, I'm not all too sure about wines yet! Do you know if these pair well at all, by any chance?

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina*

Today it was 102 outside and I came home from shopping with a watermelon, 3 cantaloupes, a large bag of peaches, large bag of plums, a half dozen avacados, a couple green peppers and some beautiful slicing tomatos as well as some cherry tomatos, bib lettuce and finally a couple of bunches of green onions. All the great summer produce and I am salivating over oranges that won't be in season for months! These look heavenly and I think I definately won't be able to wait to try them out but rather will be buying a couple of oranges at $1.28 apiece! Thank you for sharing, especially the beautiful pics!

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Lee

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