Candied Orange Peels continued

Chocolate dipped candied orange peels

I have made these peels before and I rolled them in sugar as the recipe directed.  However, I felt that they were too sweet, so this time I left out the sugar and I liked them even better!  They are very festive and the flavor is so fresh and delicious.

Candied Citrus Peels


2 grapefruits, 3 oranges, or 4 lemons

4 cups sugar, plus more for rolling

4 cups water


Using a paring knife, make 6 slits along the curve from top to bottom of each citrus fruit, cutting through the peel but not into the fruit.  Using your fingers, gently remove the peel.  Slice each piece of peel lengthwise into 1/4 inch-wide-strips.  Remove excess pith.

Place the strips in a saucepan, and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, then drain.  Repeat twice.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the strips to the boiling syrup, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until the strips are translucent, about 1 hour.  Remove from heat, and let strips cool in the syrup.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the strips to a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet.  At this point you would roll the strips in sugar if desired and place back on the wire rack to dry.  The directions say to let them dry for at least 30 minutes, but I let mine dry for 2 days, covered before I felt that they were ready to dip in chocolate and store.

I melted a cup of dark chocolate chips and dipped one end of each peel in the chocolate, placed them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and let them harden for about six hours.

These can be refrigerated in an airtight container for several weeks.

  • Orange peels before boiling. Use organic oranges if you don't have your own tree!

  • Peels after boiling.

  • I turned the peels after several hours to keep them from sticking on the rack.

Kisses for Christmas!

Hershey's kisses cookies two ways.

When I think about the cookies that I actually want to eat at a Christmas party, I realize that I usually stick to a bar or brownie-type cookie, really good sugar cookies, or those little drop cookies that have Hershey Kisses in the middle of them.  Oh, and maybe  the little thumbprint ones with jelly in the middle and of course fudge and almond rocca.  Also those little patty ones that my sister-in-law makes with yummy frosting in the middle and the currant cookies that Grammie makes.  But I digress. 

I was at Target last week and saw the annual end-cap-by the cash register display of Hershey's Kisses.  Wow!  Kisses with almonds, caramel, cherry-filled, dark, white chocolate peppermint, and of course the original milk chocolate. Now as a rule, I don't really enjoy eating Kisses - the original ones anyway.  However, the almond and cherry ones are kind of amazing, so I decided to make cookies with them.

I had seen a great picture of the Chocolate Kiss Powder Puff Cookies on Pinterest, cut in half, with a Hershey's Kiss in the middle.  Initially I figured that they were modified Russian Tea Cake cookies, but much to my surprise, when I found the recipe, they were made with pie crust dough!  How ingenious and really tasty.  They were simple to make and turned out looking just like the picture.  I also appreciated not having to mix anything since I used pre-made dough.  I would recommend these cookies for your holiday cookie tray.

The second Kiss recipe is the traditional Hershey's Kiss Peanut Butter Blossoms cookie.  The Hershey website: also has recipes for using Kisses to make a chocolate version using cookie dough of the aforementioned pie crust Kiss cookie, as well as a Candy Cane Blossoms cookie using a sugar cookie dough and the white chocolate mint striped Kisses. 

The secret to good cookies, as far as I'm concerned, is to keep them a little under-done. Definitely all of these Kiss recipes benefit from NOT being overbaked.  Don't ask me why I know that.

Chocolate Kiss Powder Puff Cookies



One sheet pie crust

About 15 Hershey's Kisses

About 3/4 cup confectioners sugar for dredging




  • One sheet of crust makes about 15 cookies.

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Put crust on a nonstick or floured surface and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut into 2 inch squares. Place one chocolate kiss in the center of each section.

  • Make sure to fully enclose each kiss in the dough.

    Using your fingertips, seal the dough around each kiss to fully contain them. The cookies will be kiss-shaped, not round. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 to 17 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown.
    Place cookies on cooling rack.

  • They really do look like this! (Click on the picture to see complete image.)

    As soon as the cookies are cool enough to touch, dredge them in confectioner's sugar.
    Even though I love the cherry-filled Kisses, they do not work well in this recipe because they tend to run while baking even if the Kiss is completely enclosed in the dough.

  • Hershey's Kisses Peanut Butter Blossoms

    48 Hershey's Kisses
    1/2 cup shortening
    3/4 cup creamy peanut
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 additional sugar for rolling

  • They come out of the oven looking like this.

    Heat oven to 375 F.
    Cream shortening, peanut butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar with mixer until fluffy.
    Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat.
    Add flour, baking soda and salt to wet ingredients and mix well.
    Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
    Bake for 10 minutes.

  • The Kisses go on after the cookies are baked.

    Remove cookies from the oven and immediately press a chocolate Kiss into the center of each cookie.
    Place cookies on wire rack and cool completely. Kisses may melt a bit but will become solid after cooling.
    Will make about 48 cookies.