This is a typical Italian winter sweet and is often (but not only) used as a decoration for other desserts or served at the end of a meal with some coffee. My mom used to make lots of them for Christmas because that is the time of the year when oranges are at their best. Candied orange zests are really tasty and can be eaten plain or dipped in dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate (optional)
Peel the oranges and put the zests in a container filled with water. Keep the zests in it for 3 days often changing the water.
Put the zests in a pot with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Repeat this step for 3 times, changing the water each time.
Drain them and keep them aside to cool down.
Then cut them into long strips (0.5 to 1 cm wide and 6 cm long).
Weigh them and note their weight. Now you will need a quantity of sugar that weighs the same as the zests (weight of zests = weight of sugar).
Put the sugar in a non stick frying pan and let it melt on a very low fire. DO NOT stir until the sugar has completely melted.
Add the orange zests one by one and stir, until they absorb all the melted sugar.
Now you have 2 options:
- Take each one out and roll it immediately in caster sugar. Put them on a tray covered with baking paper to cool down. Keep them separated.
- Take each one out and put them on a tray covered with baking paper to cool down. Keep them separated. Once they have cooled down, you can melt some dark chocolate and dip them in it (fully or halfway). Put them back on the tray with baking paper to dry.