I love those orange flavored chocolate balls that you can find at the Holidays. You whack them and they fall into "segments" like an orange. Well, at $3 to 5 each, I thought I would come up with something that tastes similar but is more affordable to give on Christmas goodie trays. Here is my best effort yet.
1Place the sugar into a quart zippered bag and add either the grated orange zest or just a small amount (a few drops) of orange extract. Mix it well by shaking and massaging the bag until distributed.
2Cut the orange slices into small bite sized bits with kitchen shears dipped in hot water to keep them from sticking (if possible LOL). Place the bits into the bag with the flavored sugar as you cut and shake occasionally to help coat the bits with the sugar. Just keep adding and shaking until all the sections are cut. Then, really massage the bag and shake to separate any bits that are stuck together. Try to get all the bits well coated.
3Roughly break the pecans into nice sized pieces. Reserve in a small bowl.
4In a microwaveable bowl or a double boiler, heat the chocolate until smooth and completely melted in 15 to 30 second intervals with stirring between each. Stir well, being careful not to get any water into the chocolate while stirring.
5Scoop the orange bits out of the bag with a slotted spoon or your hands (or use a coarse sieve) and try to shake off as much loose sugar as possible. When all are removed, dump them and the pecan pieces into the chocolate and stir well to coat. When coated, use a teaspoon or tablespoon to drop the chocolate mixture in small "globs" onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper or foil. When filled, place baking sheet out of the way so the candies can set up and harden. (I just put them into my cold oven on the racks. It holds a lot of pans and you can just shut the oven door to keep your little helpers out of the candy)
6When cooled and set, store in an airtight container in a cool place.
7NOTE: If you prefer milk chocolate, you can substitute it for the semi/bittersweet, but be aware that this will make the candies very sweet.