Candied orange peels are so nice to have for decorative purposes or to add a little zing to a dessert, like in my Florentines. This recipe also works nicely with lemon or lime peels, which add a nice color variation to the mix.
4 navel oranges
1½ cups sugar
¾ cup water
Remove the peels from the oranges by slicing through the peel and quartering it, without puncturing the fruit. Gently cut off the top and bottom of the orange and then carefully peel the orange peel, leaving behind the pith and fruit. Reserve pith and fruit for another use (these make fantastic juicing oranges).
Lay one section of peel flat onto a cutting area, light-side-up. Slice the peel into thin, even strips, about ¼ inch wide.
Place the peels into a medium saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water and salt very lightly. Boil for 20 minutes, and then drain. Briefly place onto clean kitchen towel to dry.
Drain the saucepan and then wipe dry. Place the drained peels, sugar, water, and salt into the pot and cook over medium heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 235°F on a candy thermometer (or Soft Ball Stage if using the Cold Water Method). Spread in an even layer onto a waxed paper–covered cookie sheet or silicone mat. Let harden for 2 hours, and for up to 12 hours before transferring to airtight container. Store for up to 1 month.