Chocolate Dipped Candied Lemon Peel


Here’s some easy to make festive holiday candy that doesn’t taste anything like candy-canes, fruitcake, gingerbread or eggnog.

Peel Lemons

The first step is to peel the lemons. If you peel off thick strips from one pole to the other, they end up being a convenient length for dipping. This is a scaleable recipe: use as many lemons as you like. You can also use oranges, but you’ll end up with chocolate covered orange peel instead of chocolate covered lemon peel.

Slice peels

Next, split the strips into nice narrow pieces with a paring knife.

Peels in water

Cover the strips of peel with water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for a minute or two and then drain. This blanching step helps to remove the bitterness.

Barely cover the strips of peel in fresh water again, and add sugar in equal proportion to the water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 30-40 minutes, or until the peel becomes tender and translucent.

Drain the peel* and spread the pieces out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet to dry out in the oven on low, or if you have one, you can use a dehydrator.

(*Note: if you like lemon syrup, reserve the liquid when you drain the peel. Serve on pancakes and desserts or use in cocktails.)

Finished peels

When to stop drying them is up to you: if you like a more firm and chewy texture, dry for longer.

Melted chocolate

Melt some chocolate in a double boiler. Using a double boiler helps to keep the chocolate from overheating and breaking the temper. Using chocolate with consistent quality will help give a good texture and finish. Ghirardelli makes a 60% bittersweet chip that is readily available. The chocolate we used this time is Trader Joe’s 72% Belgian.

Dip the peels

Dip the strips of candied peel in the chocolate. Place them on waxed, freezer, or parchment paper and chill to harden before serving or taking to your holiday dessert exchange.


7 thoughts on “Chocolate Dipped Candied Lemon Peel

  1. Next time go the fancy step of tempering the chocolate before you dip the peels.

    San Francisco

  2. My grandma would use grapefruit and sometimes orange peels. We would make piles of these along with other goodies as gifts trays for the neighbors. Wow, do people still do that?

    Since Christmas week was always busy, I remember she would blanch the peels weeks beforehand. After air drying, she would store them in an air-tight container packed with sugar to be dipped in chocolate when needed. The dry packing sugar pulled out the rest of the moisture and seemed to create more crystals on the peels.

    Of course, as a child I did get caught on occasion with my hand sifting through the packing sugar for one of this half finished treats! Yeah, I paid for it but they are quite tasty even sans chocolate.

    Merry Christmas!

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