2 cups pecans halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1. Toast: Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Slide into a 350-degree oven until nuts darken slightly and give off a toasty scent, 8 minutes. Cautiously taste one. It should be crisp (if not, return to oven 1 more minute). Tumble nuts into a bowl. Season with salt and red pepper. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it handy.
2. Caramelize: Stir sugar and water together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Let bubble without stirring until syrup starts to starts to color, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir to a light, even brown 1 minute.
3. Coat: Pour in seasoned nuts. Stir until completely coated with caramel, 1 minute. Scrape onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread as best you can. Cool completely, 20 minutes
4. Crack: Break apart candied nuts. These are addictively good solo and even better folded into cornbread/sausage stuffing just before serving.