1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon (adjust to your taste; I like 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon)
2 cups nuts (pecans or walnuts are excellent, whole almonds are good too)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup water
Optional: substitute 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste, instead of cinnamon and definitely gives a great pop of flavor
Cooking time 30mins
Adapted from foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com
Mix sugar and cinnamon together. Put nuts and sugar mixture in a nut roaster pan, or any kind of nonstick pan, and a wide paddle spoon can be used.
Stir to mix.
Combine vanilla and water in a measuring cup. Add the liquid to glaze/nut mixture in the pan. Place the pan on the burner, on medium high heat.
The glaze will begin to turn into a thick liquid; boil gently during the process.
Stir contents slowly and continuously to keep the glaze coating nuts at all times, until the liquid evaporates and nuts are glazed (5 to 10 minutes). When the liquid is evaporated and the handle (or paddle) becomes harder to stir, the nuts are done. Do not overcook!
Remove the pan from burner. Quickly sprinkle a little water over the nuts (about 1 tablespoon per 2 cups of nuts).
The mixture will steam, so keep the hands away until the steam dissipates, to prevent burns. Stir nuts to coat even with the glaze.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, immediately spread the hot nuts on a non-stick paper (parchment paper is best) cookie sheet to cool. Gently separate the nuts with a wooden spoon. Nuts will be very hot — do not eat until cooled (even though they smell delicious and you will find it very difficult to resist!)
To store, be sure nuts are thoroughly cooled and then put in airtight containers. Refrigerate to retain freshness or freeze for future use.
You can reheat in a microwave by spreading on a flat plate and heating for 2 to 4 minutes. Or, on a non-stick cookie sheet, heat for about 7 minutes at 250°F in a conventional oven.