Make this elegant gift for a sweet stocking stuffer this holiday season

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Unlike traditional candied citrus peels, this recipe uses a whole-peel technique. The outcome is a soft, luscious peel instead of a tough, leathery candy. This recipe uses five pounds of oranges, but you can also use lemons, grapefruit, or a combination of the three if you’d like. You should end up with about six cups of candied peels either way.

Halve and juice five pounds of oranges–the leftover juice makes a perfect drink for a holiday brunch or you can freeze it to use in smoothies. Next put the peels in a large pot with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil and cook the peels for three minutes before draining. Repeat this two more times before pulling out the orange halves and setting them on a baking sheet face down to cool. Let them sit for 20 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Scrape out the membrane with a soup spoon before slicing the peels into strips.

Bring eight cups of water and six cups of sugar to boil in your large pot before carefully adding your peels. Reduce the heat to a steady, gentle simmer. Stir occasionally while the peels cook until they are tender and translucent, about three hours. Watch your pot to ensure it doesn’t get too hot, as you don’t want the sugar to caramelize or brown. Drain the peels before spreading them out on wire racks over baking sheets to catch drips. Let them sit overnight or for at least eight hours before tossing them in sugar.

Shake off the excess before putting them in an airtight container. A small jar will keep the classic holiday candy fresh and make the perfect gift packaging. You can also dip some of the candied peels in chocolate. The peels will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.

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