With a jar of these honeyed nuts in your pantry, you are two minutes away from dessert. Warm the jar in a saucepan of gently simmering water until the honey is just pourable, then serve with a favorite blue cheese or spoon some over ricotta. The honey helps mellow spicy blues like Gorgonzola and Valdeón, and the toasted nuts provide a crunchy complement.
You can buy nuts in honey at fancy specialty stores, and you will pay a lot for them. Why not make your own jars for holiday gifts? You can use the nuts you like best and a local honey. You can go all Martha Stewart and round up some vintage French canning jars or fashionable Weck jars. Tie on an antique demitasse spoon or tuck a favorite blue cheese into the gift bag.
These honeyed nuts make a great topping for Greek yogurt—another two-minute dessert. Serve in a stemmed glass with some plumped dried cherries or Italian amarena cherries. The nuts last for months in the pantry.
For each 8-ounce jar:
1/2 cup mixed nuts (walnut halves; pecan halves; whole almonds, hazelnuts or cashews)
Honey as needed to fill the jar (about 5 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Toast the nuts separately until fragrant and light brown inside, about 15 minutes, depending on type. Check often. Let cool. (If you are using hazelnuts, wrap them in a dishtowel while they are hot and rub to remove as much of the papery outer skin as possible.) The nuts will crisp as they cool.
If the honey is stiff and not pourable, set the jar on a trivet in a pan of gently simmering water and warm it until it liquefies enough to pour.
Put the cooled nuts in the jar, then add honey to fill. If the honey is liquid, the nuts will float up. Let the honey cool until it thickens, then push the nuts down into the honey with the back of a spoon and they will stay suspended. Cover with a lid.
At serving time, if the honey has solidified, loosen the lid, set the jar on a trivet in a pan of gently simmering water and warm it until the mixture is spoonable.