Typically when we have lemons, we juice them and freeze the juice in ice trays, throwing away perfectly good zest and peel. This year, I decided to use as much of the lemon as possible, starting with the peel.
When I was in Mexico last year I tried a chocolate covered candied orange peel. I was a little leery but was assure by the stores owner that it was their best seller. (Isn't there a reason we peel oranges and not eat them whole?) They turned out to be pretty good, with a texture similar to a gumdrop, and a tart and sweet citrus flavor like a candy.
So this time, before juicing the lemons, I peeled them, candied the peel, and covered a few candied peels in chocolate. They turned out perfect, tasting just like a chewy lemon drop. My husband can't even walk past the candy dish without taking one.
Candied Lemon Peels
From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking also at cookstr.com
4 lemons (organic)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
Wash lemons thoroughly. With a knife, peel each lemon into large strips, leaving as much white pith as possible behind. Using the knife scrape off any pith remaining on the peel.
Place the peels in a heavy bottom saucepan and cover with 1 cup of cold water. Bring to a boil and strain. Repeat this step three times.
Place peels, 4 cups water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium sized saucepan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the mixture forms a thick syrup and the peels become translucent. Remove from heat and let sit until the syrup has cooled to room temperature.
Remove from syrup and cut into strips and roll in granulated sugar. Let dry overnight on a wire rack. Store in a air tight container.
*Keep the syrup you made, it's great for drinks (mixed drinks or even tea), and I found you can drizzle it over a piece of toasted brioche and it's delicious.