In a heavy saucepan on medium heat add the sugar and water. Gently stir with a spoon to ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved before it comes to a boil. Let it go for approximately 20 minutes on medium heat you are looking for a nice amber color and slow bubbling. Cut the heat.
Carefully* add the pecans and toss to cover. While tossing, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Spread them out on a lightly oiled sheet pan or a silpat to cool.
Serve them crumbled in a salad, on a dessert or just on their own.
Be careful when your heating sugar, it tends to get really hot, be sure not to touch it or taste it. Wait until sugar is hardened and cooled down.
Recipe courtesy of Chuck Hughes