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Step 3-Cook in simple syrup: In a saucepan ( In a saucepan (nonstick is best), stir 4 cups of the sugar into 3 cups of cold water. (If using a flavor enhancer like cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, or cloves, then add to the pot now.) Bring to a boil. Add your citrus peels and turn the heat down to medium. Simmer the peels uncovered for 1 hour. When cooking is done, gently remove citrus strips from saucepan and drain. is best), stir 4 cups of the sugar into 3 cups of cold water. (If using a flavor enhancer like cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, or cloves, then add to the pot now.) Bring to a boil. Add your citrus peels and turn the heat down to medium. Simmer the peels uncovered for 1 hour. When cooking is done, gently remove citrus strips from saucepan and drain. Keep the liquid! See note below on citrus-flavored bar syrup. Keep the liquid! See note below on citrus-flavored bar syrup. Handle your peels with care at this stage. They are still wet and soft, so they can rip easily. (They'll firm up as they dry.) Handle your peels with care at this stage. They are still wet and soft, so they can rip easily. (They'll firm up as they dry.)

Step 4-Cut into strips and roll in sugar: When peels are cool enough to handle, use kitchen sheers to cut them into strips about inch thick. Roll the strips in the remaining 2 cups of sugar. Use more sugar if you need it. When peels are cool enough to handle, use kitchen sheers to cut them into strips about inch thick. Roll the strips in the remaining 2 cups of sugar. Use more sugar if you need it.

Step 5-Dry the strips: Preheat the oven to 180F. Spread the sugar-coated strips in a single layer on cookie sheets. Bake for 60-90 minutes. ( Preheat the oven to 180F. Spread the sugar-coated strips in a single layer on cookie sheets. Bake for 60-90 minutes. (Do not try to speed up the drying process by turning up the heat! Keep oven temperature low or you will melt the sugar! Do not leave in oven longer than 90 minutes for the same reason.) Remove from oven and transfer strips to a rack or paper towels to cool to room temperature (another hour at least, but you can allow to dry overnight if you wish). Once completely cool and try to speed up the drying process by turning up the heat! Keep oven temperature low or you will melt the sugar! Do not leave in oven longer than 90 minutes for the same reason.) Remove from oven and transfer strips to a rack or paper towels to cool to room temperature (another hour at least, but you can allow to dry overnight if you wish). Once completely cool and completely dry completely dry, store in an airtight container. (If you store these while they're still damp, they'll become soggy and the sugar will begin to melt off. If that happens, simply re-roll in sugar and allow to dry at room temperature overnight before storing again.)



DIPPING IN CHOCOLATE: If you are going to chocolate dip part or all of your citrus strips, make sure they are completely dry first. For advice on properly melting chocolate, see How to Melt Chocolate instruction on page 335. If you are going to chocolate dip part or all of your citrus strips, make sure they are completely dry first. For advice on properly melting chocolate, see How to Melt Chocolate instruction on page 335.

CITRUS-INFUSED BAR SYRUP: A fantastic byproduct of this recipe is the drained liquid leftover from boiling the peels. Do not discard this liquid. This is a citrus-infused simple syrup that can be used to sweeten iced tea or mix bar drinks. Simply allow the liquid to cool to room temperature, and then transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. For mixing into bar drinks, here's one suggestion: 1 part citrus-infused syrup to 4 parts club soda or seltzer. Serve over ice for a virgin drink or splash in some of your favorite alcohol: I like amaretto, but you can always add something stronger, such as vodka, gin, or (Gardner's favorite) Caribbean rum! A fantastic byproduct of this recipe is the drained liquid leftover from boiling the peels. Do not discard this liquid. This is a citrus-infused simple syrup that can be used to sweeten iced tea or mix bar drinks. Simply allow the liquid to cool to room temperature, and then transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. For mixing into bar drinks, here's one suggestion: 1 part citrus-infused syrup to 4 parts club soda or seltzer. Serve over ice for a virgin drink or splash in some of your favorite alcohol: I like amaretto, but you can always add something stronger, such as vodka, gin, or (Gardner's favorite) Caribbean rum!

UNUSED CITRUS FRUIT: The other byproduct of this recipe are sections of unused citrus fruit. Don't let these go to waste. You can either drop them in a blender for a quick, delicious pint of fresh fruit juice. Or seal them in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer. Whenever you're in the mood for a fruit smoothie, remove some of the frozen citrus sections and drop them in a blender with a sliced up banana, a bit of milk, and a few ice cubes (strawberries or blueberries are a great, healthy addition, too). Blend on high until smooth, pour into a chilled glass, and enjoy! The other byproduct of this recipe are sections of unused citrus fruit. Don't let these go to waste. You can either drop them in a blender for a quick, delicious pint of fresh fruit juice. Or seal them in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer. Whenever you're in the mood for a fruit smoothie, remove some of the frozen citrus sections and drop them in a blender with a sliced up banana, a bit of milk, and a few ice cubes (strawberries or blueberries are a great, healthy addition, too). Blend on high until smooth, pour into a chilled glass, and enjoy!

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CHAPTER DISCUSSION