People are afraid of nuts.
Nuts taste good. They are good for you. They do not raise risk of heart disease. In fact they lower it.
Several recent studies looked at this question.
There are several epidemiological studies that have shown positive associations with eating nuts and health. The Seventh Day Adventist Health Study  showed that eating nuts more than four times a week protected people from heart attacks. The Nurses' Health Study  also found that nut eaters (in this case 5 ounces or more a week) had fewer heart attacks.
Another study, this time in Japan, looked at the effect of adding about 50 grams of walnuts to a typical Japanese diet. Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol were both lowered eating the nuts. The ratio of good HDL cholesterol to bad LDL cholesterol also improved during this study.
Speaking about nuts, I can't leave out peanuts. 'Too much fat in peanut butter,' people tell me, "I try not to eat peanut butter very often." Well it seems that peanuts are the same story. Adding peanuts to a healthy diet both lowers total cholesterol and increases the relative amount of HDL (GOOD) cholesterol thus reducing heart disease risk. Snacking on peanuts and peanut butter is an effective way to control hunger without leading to weight gain. following a snack of peanuts or peanut butter, participants in one study reported reduced hunger that lasted for two and one-half hours. When fed typical portions of other snacks, hunger returned within 30 minutes. 
Peanuts are an excellent source for two valuable phytonutrients: resveratrol  and betasitosterol  . As you may recall, resveratrol is a chemical found in grape skins and may account for the health benefits of wine. Resveratrol improves cardiovascular health and is currently a hot item in the research and supplement world. "Resveratrol has been shown to modulate the metabolism of lipids, and to inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins and the aggregation of platelets. Moreover, as phytoestrogen, resveratrol may provide cardiovascular protection. This compound also possesses anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties." 
Betasitosterol a kind of plant cholesterol was initially promoted as a cholesterol lowering agent in humans. More recently it has been found useful in treating a wide range of immune disorders especially auto immune problems and is sold as the trademarked product Moducare.
The bottom line here is that nuts are good food. The added fat doesn't equal added pounds and weight gain. The types of oil in nuts decrease risk of heart disease and other nutrients may decrease cancer incidence.
As healthy as nuts are, the following recipes may not necessarily be good for you, but this being the holiday season, perhaps this information will help you rationalize that they are.
Maple Walnut Pie
Classic Pecan Pie