You know that old, famous saying 'bacon makes everything better?'
No? Well, you should. We made it up. Just now. But we are sure you've heard it long before we said it. Just now. Or perhaps last week when we made chocolate bark with bacon? Either way. Bacon does make everything better.
But, um. We're not talking about bacon here. We're talking about chocolate. And chocolate certainly does make everything better. We are positive that it's not news to you. You read this blog. You know it's true.
When in doubt, dip it in chocolate. That's another one of our mottos.
We've done it with pretzel sticks and macaroons and biscotti. So why should crackers not get some chocolate loving? Crackers word hard. (Pun intended. Ha ha ha. We crack ourselves up. Again, pun intended. Mww-ha ha. Ok. Um, embarassing.) Anyhoo, crackers deserve some dessert time as well. And, thanks to Grace Parisi's latest Food & Wine release, they do. How do you make boring crackers intended for cheese (mmmmm, cheese) better? DIP THEM IN CHOCOLATE. Clearly. Grace, you are a genius.
Though, um, not to bug, Grace, but we're not such huge fans of fennel seeds in dessert. We could totes go there with the crackers and chocolate but not so much the candied fennel. So, as per usual, we just modifed the recipe a bit and changed it to orange peel.
Because if bacon makes everything better and chocolate makes everything better, then candied orange makes chocolate better. Ergo. Forthwith. Yes.
We also like recipes that are like a bit like shopping, our other fav pastime. Meaning, you buy one and get one free. Like a shop more, save more thing. Or free shipping. Well, maybe not, but this is one of those recipes. You make chocolate wafers (perfect for Thanksgiving hostess gifts, if you ask us, which you didn't but that never stopped us before) and you also get chocolate-covered candied orange peel (also a great hostess gift, you'rewelcomeverymuch) for free!
Chocolate Wafers with Ginger & Orange
Makes 8-10 wafers
Adapted from Food & Wine
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup candied ginger, minced
1/4 cup candied orange peel (recipe follows)
8-10 thin, crisp crackers (such as Finn crisps or Kavli, which we used)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt chocolate in a large, shallow heat-proof bowl in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each blitz, until the chocolate is mostly melted, about 2 minutes. Dip each cracker in the chocolate and use a spatula to completely coat each cracker front and back. Allow some of the excess chocolate to drip off then lay the cracker on the parchment. Quickly sprinkle some of the ginger and orange peel on the cracker. Repeat with additional wafers until the chocolate is used up. Note: the amount of crackers needed will vary depending on the brand used since they vary in size significantly. Sprinkle the partially cooled chocolate-covered wafers with sea salt. Place the baking sheet in the fridge to cool and harden further. Serve when completely set.
Candied Orange Peel
3 cups granulated sugar
Wash the oranges. Cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges. Score the rind into 6 pieces top-to-bottom and peel them so you have peel pieces that look like orange wedges (as if you cut the orange into wedges and ate the fruit out like a kid at a soccer game). Cut these pieces into 3-ish 1/4-inch strips. In a medium pot, place the orange peels and enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat and the drain the water out. Repeat 2 additional times for a total of 3 blanchings. If you want the oranges sweeter, and less bitter, blanch 4 or 5 times. Set aside the peels.
Whisk together 2 1/4 cups of the granulated sugar with 3/4 cups of water in the same saucepan. Heat the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is simmering. Add the orange peels and continue to simmer until the peels get translucent, about 35-45 minutes. Drain the peels (you can reserve the orange-sugar syrup for ice tea or adult beverages) and toss them in the remaining 3/4 cups of granulated sugar. Allow them to dry on a rack for 1-2 days then store in a glass jar (not air-tight or plastic). They will keep for a few months.
Bonus recipe: Melt some chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave and dip the candied peels in the chocolate and allow to cool for an extra fancy treat.