Pfeffernusse are simple, spiced marzipan biscuits, glazed in icing. They are so moreish I could easily devour a dozen of them in a sitting. They keep well for a week or two in an airtight jar, so they make excellent seasonal gifts or to give to a hostess at a winter party. 

Mix two eggs and 230g of soft brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of marzipan. In a separate bowl sift 250g of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 2 teaspoons of mixed spice, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, kneading it into a dough and rest in the fridge for an hour. Divide into 30 or 40 walnut sized balls, place on parchment lined baking trays and cook for 12 mins at 180 degrees. Cool on a rack, then dip completely in icing mixture (400g icing sugar, 3 egg whites and a slosh of kirsch), dry on rack then return to the cooling oven for 5 mins to set.




Score the skins of 4 unwaxed oranges and lemons, peel away and remove the pith, then blanch in boiling water for 4 mins, repeating 3 times. Create a syrup of 500 ml or water and 500g of caster sugar, bring to the boil and then add the peel and simmer for 2 hours.

Put the peel on a rack to cool, then dip in caster sugar and leave to crystallise. Pack in lovely grease proof paper or waxed brown paper  bags and tie with twine to make a pretty gift.