Make Molly Wizenberg's Orangettes for the Chow Bella Book Club Meeting Next Tuesday

First step, slice off the ends and cut the peel into strips.
First step, slice off the ends and cut the peel into strips.

Hello there, Chow Bella Book Clubbers. One more week until we gather for our "meeting" to gab about A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. Are you having as much fun reading through the essays/recipes as I am? I'm so glad we picked this book for this month because it's full of inspiration for this part of the year when we're cooking for our families, friends and anyone else in our celebratory eating path. There's still time to jump in and read up for next Tuesday's discussion.

After the jump: the recipe for orangettes (perfect to jump start your holiday cookie/candy making -- and hey, a snack while you're reading is always nice!), author Wizenberg's personal food blog, and how to get a discounted copy of A Homemade Life.

While Wizenberg doesn't have a recipe for one of her favorite treats, orangettes, we were able to nail down one that struck our fancy. This is the fresh and real version of those whack-on-the-counter chocolate orange balls that are so popular for the holidays.

If you get a sec, check out Wizenberg's blog Orangette, one of the most popular food ones around. While you're at it, Smitten Kitchen, too -- another heavily followed blog where we spotted a pretty recipe for orangettes. I've changed a few things based upon the comments I read over there and also what I would do in my own kitchen.

4 oranges
8 ounces water
8 ounces sugar
16 ounces best quality dark chocolate

Slice the ends off of the orange and then using a peeler or a knife cut strips about 3" long by ½" wide.

Put a medium pot of water on to boil. Drop the strips in the pot to boil for a few minutes. Drain, rinse and repeat 3 times. This part takes away the bitterness from the oranges' pith. It might be nice to have a few pots boiling on the stove if you have them to make this part go more quickly.

Create the simple syrup by combining the 8 ounces of sugar, 8 ounces of water and the squeezed juice from the oranges. Bring it up to a simmer and place the blanched peels in to simmer on low for 1 hour, slightly covered. Take a peek occasionally to make sure they're not burning.

Once that hour is up, remove the candied orange peels to cool on a rack fitted over a pan to catch any drips.

Once cool, melt your chopped or chipped chocolate on low in the microwave 30 seconds at a time or over a double boiler on the stove. Dip all or part of the peel into the chocolate and cool on parchment, waxed paper or a silicone mat.

Store in an airtight containers, stick a bow on them and share them with your favorite people, or keep them for yourself.

The ultimate homemade candy: orangettes.
The ultimate homemade candy: orangettes.

Make a batch of these (I think I will, too) for our Chow Bella Book Club meeting next Tuesday December 6th at 7 p.m. once the blog post publishes to chit chat about A Homemade Life. If you need a copy of the book still, head over to Changing Hands' Chow Bella Book Club page for a link to the discounted copy. Come on, read along along with us. I'd love it if you would. And if you've already read it, please stop by and share your thoughts.

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