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Italian Nut Gems
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1 1/2 cups slivered almonds

2/3 cup chopped hazelnuts

10 (4 3/4x2 1/2-inch) graham cracker squares, broken into pieces

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice  

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup honey

6 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter

2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy, if desired

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup powdered sugar

 *Substitute 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and cloves.

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Heat oven to 350°F.

  2. STEP 2

    Place almonds and hazelnuts into ungreased ungreased jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with sides. Bake, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool 15 minutes.

  3. STEP 3

    Place toasted nuts into food processor bowl fitted with metal blade. Add graham cracker pieces and pumpkin pie spice. Cover; pulse several times, until mixture is fine and crumbly with just a few small pieces of nuts remaining. Pour into bowl.

  4. STEP 4

    Combine granulated sugar, honey and butter in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat 6-7 minutes or until mixture just comes to a boil. Stir in bourbon, if desired. Pour over nut mixture in bowl; stir in apricots and cranberries until well mixed. Press mixture down into bowl; let stand 10 minutes.

  5. STEP 5

    Place powdered sugar into another bowl. With dampened fingers, shape nut mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar until well coated.

  6. STEP 6

    Place nut gems into candy paper cups, if desired. Store in container with tight-fitting lid.

Tip #1

The nut mixture is crumbly at first. Pressing it into the bowl to compress the ingredients makes it easier to form into balls.

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