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Just Like Candy: #DIY Mixed Peel

DIY Mixed Peel at Wonderland Kitchen

On days like today, Google makes me cry for both confusingly uplifting reasons as well as the terrifying visions of the future its actions conjure in my head. But while this best-indie-movie plot line and/or Kafka tale develops, Google’s search engine reliably solves my problems. The latest: What the hell is mixed peel?

I went hunting with the goal of making this Alice in Wonderland-related Looking Glass cake. However, mixed peel not being an ingredient stocked at my local grocery, before the baking could begin it seemed I would need to DIY a key ingredient. The internet to the rescue, I was in business with a pile of citrus and a Googled recipe.

DIY Mixed Peel at Wonderland Kitchen

DIY Mixed Peel at Wonderland Kitchen

DIY Mixed Peel at Wonderland Kitchen

This is one of those super easy but several-day DIY projects that annoy the spontaneous among us. So make it now and then surprise yourself when you want to bake hot cross buns for Easter! (Note to self: Bake hot cross buns for Easter this year.) If you have the patience to cut up citrus peel and the skill to boil water, you are already pretty much done. Holiday goodies will definitely be kicked up a notch this season. (So yes, family, prepare for Wonderland fruit cakes this Christmas.) Anyway…

DIY Mixed Peel at Wonderland Kitchen

DIY Mixed Peel
Recipe via Best Recipes, desire due to The Alice in Wonderland Cookbook: A Culinary Diversion by John Fisher

Note: The original recipe calls for less fruit. I lived dangerously and added an extra lemon and one more orange. I was well pleased with the result, but be advised.

1 grapefruit
2 oranges
2 lemons
(or citrus combo of your choosing)
1 1/2 cups sugar

Peel citrus fruit, including as much of the pith as possible. Slice peels into approximately 1/4-inch pieces.

Place prepared citrus peel in a sauce pan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Drain and repeat, this time reserving 1/2 cup of the simmering liquid before draining.

Return boiled peel, 1/2 cup reserved liquid, 1/2 cup fresh water, and 1 cup sugar to sauce pan and stir to dissolve sugar while bringing to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit overnight (mine sat about 18 hours). The following day, add an additional 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes and then drain citrus peel thoroughly.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread out peel pieces to dry, tossing occasionally to prevent clumping. When peels are no longer wet (probably another 24 hours), place in a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator (or the freezer for a longer shelf life). According to my reading, prepared peels will withstand at least a month in the fridge.

For Want of a Cookie


You know how people always say don’t go grocery shopping hungry? I think I may need to apply a similar rule to recipe research: don’t go browsing while indecisive. When I sat down at my kitchen table to figure out what dessert to bring to tonight’s potluck, I knew I needed something easy to eat, small and sampler-plate friendly that would suit a smorgasbord for 15. But with not much more of an idea than that, once this Libra started spotting cookie recipes in line with my pantry stores, well, it was hard to stop at one.

Or two.

Or three.

Luckily, at that point I was out of time, out of counter space, and out of sugar, or else things could have taken a serious turn towards the diabetic.

The first of these recipes comes from a new-to-me site that I immediately paged through back to front, drinking in all the phenomenal photography and stopping here and there along the way to get to know the woman behind the lens. I can’t wait for her next post.

The second two are both from Joy the Baker, who I hear has a new cookbook out. Based on my experiences with these two cookie recipes (selected from among her top picks) I suspect that the book contains some real winners. If I had had any puff pastry in the house, you couldn’t have held me back from making a go at just one more cookie.

Want to make a batch of your own? I suspected as much. This way to the recipes!

Cocoa and Coconut Bits: It’s a potluck in 2012, so something vegan and also gluten free (unless you avoid oats, as well) seemed a good idea.

Citrus Sables: I used lemon and orange.

Dark Chocolate, Walnut and Golden Raisin Cookies: Though I used cranberries and almonds.