These treats are perfect dessert toppers. A pinch of baking soda in the blanching water helps speed the process by softening the peels and eliminating their bitterness.
Line an 11-by-17-inch baking pan with parchment paper; place a cooling rack on top; set aside. Cut each lemon in half, and scrape out pulp. Roughly chop the pulp; set aside. Cut the rind lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add baking soda and lemon rind; simmer gently for 5 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water.
In a medium saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups sugar and 2 cups water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add lemon rind. Simmer 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 2 1/2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to a simmer in another saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rind from first pot into second pot; simmer rind until translucent, about 1 hour. Remove from syrup, transfer to cooling rack set over baking sheet. When rind is cool but tacky to the touch, about 10 minutes, roll rinds in remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Store in an airtight container up to 1 month.