This is a very old family recipe. I have been making this since I was a little girl. This came from my Irish/English side of the family, but many nationalities make this. The Italian part of the family uses this recipe to add to other dishes like cannoli.
I loved to make this with my grandmother Mabel Kennedy Sullivan and also with my mother Patricia Salzer Sullivan... I make it with my daughter Noel and her 4 children for the holidays. We make huge batches of this to share with other family members and friends.... one of my aunts loved getting the plain sugared orange peel for her tea!
Wash, peel oranges (first time out just do two or three). Cut the orange peel into strips about 1/4 inch wide (length doesn't matter.. but longer strips are nice, don't worry if they break during any point of the process).
Put orange strips into a pan, cover with water. Bring to a boil. Drain. Cover with water, bring to a boil, drain... do this 5 times (gets the bitterness out).
After you drain it the 5th time, leave about 1/4 to 1/3 cup liquid in pan. Add 1/2 to 1 cup sugar. Stir, making a thick syrup. Add the orange peel and cook stirring constantly until the syrup is gone and the orange peel is coated and sticky.
On a baking sheet, cover with a light layer of sugar 1/4 inch thick. Pour the orange peel onto the sugar. Use two forks to gently separate the pieces of orange peel and completely coat them with sugar. Leave this to dry stirring it up and separating several times. This could take an hour or two depending on humidity.
Melt chocolate almond bark (dark chocolate is great!). Individually coat the strips of orange peel using a fork... tap fork against inside of pan to get excess chocolate off peel. Place on wax paper lined baking sheet. When tray is full, put in freezer for about 5 - 10 minutes to solidify the chocolate. Put hardened chocolates into airtight containers or zipper bags. Do not refrigerate or freeze.
Any orange peel that you do not want to coat... leave on the tray with the sugar and dry overnight.
Put these sugar coated orange peels into a zipper bag or airtight container. You can eat these, suck on them.... or put them in tea or in recipes that call for candied orange peel (warning: once they get hard don't use in recipes... but still good for teas).
The sugar remaining on the baking pan.... put in airtight container or zipper bag. You can use this orange flavored sugar in recipes or in tea...
It sounds harder than it is...
Because you are chocolate coating the peel before it is dried out... a reaction takes place.... The moisture in the orange goes to the sugar and forms a kind of syrup effect... so when you bite into the coated peel.... it is kind of like jellied... Orange and chocolate is my favorite!!!
This is a cheap recipe to make... most people just throw the orange peelings away.... so it is FREE... and water doesn't cost much... and sugar.... so it is a cheap candy that sells in candy shops for $9 - $14 per pound!!!
I never use a recipe for this anymore, because I have been making it for most of my life.... I wrote this from memory.... I hope that you try this....