Few people think to compost their old orange peels, let alone save them for a second use, but with a little love and a touch of sugar, the zesty scraps may end up being even more delicious than the fruit itself! It takes some patience to extract any residual bitterness from the pith, but the payoff is worth the extra work. This same approach will allow you to salvage any other discarded citrus skins, such as grapefruits, lemons, and limes.
  1. There are many ways to remove the peel from the oranges. Some suggestions include using a vegetable peeler or grater, but I like to do it with a knife. To do it my way, begin by cutting the oranges into quarters. With the skin side down, cut right along the edge as close to the actual peel as possible and remove the edible innards. If there is still white pith left over on the inside of the peel, simply scrape that off with the knife. Cut the resulting clean peel into thin quarters, so that each orange produces 16 strips. You should now have a few nicely cleaned segments of orange, so take a break and have a snack, or toss them into a salad later!
  2. Place the cleaned strips of peel in a small saucepan and pour in enough water to cover, about 1 cup. Bring the water to a boil and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Drain the water, return the orange peel to the pan, and add a fresh cup of water. Bring back to a boil, cook for 5 minutes, and drain again. Repeat this process once more to leech out any residual bitterness.
  3. Now you are ready to candy the rinds! Add the sugar and a final ½ cup of water to the peels, and boil over medium heat once more. Continue to cook until the excess water evaporates and all you have left is a thin coating of smooth sugar on each of the strips. Remove from the heat and immediately move the saucepan contents onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Spread the pieces out so that they don’t touch, before the sugar begins to cool and solidify. Let cool.
  4. Once the coating has completely hardened, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave in 30-second intervals to prevent scorching. Stir thoroughly after each heating until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Dip a piece of peel half way into the chocolate and return it to the silicone baking mat. Repeat this process with the remaining orange peels. Allow the orangettes to dry before storing them in an airtight container.
Recipe Notes

Makes 48 to 64 candies

Reprinted with permission from Sweet Vegan Treats Vegan © 2019 by Hannah Kaminsky, Skyhorse Publishing. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.