Combine the water, 2 cups of the sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne in a medium-size, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes to a boil and becomes slightly thick, about 5 minutes.
Add the pecans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Drain the pecans in a colander set over a bowl, shaking off the excess liquid.
Heat the oil to 360ºF in a deep frying pot or electric fryer. Add the pecans and fry until they are a deep mahogany color, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove the pecans with a slotted spoon and drain on a platter lined with parchment paper. Stir the pecans so they won’t stick together.
Combine the salt, the remaining 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, the cinnamon, and the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl. Sprinkle the pecans with this mixture. Let cool. Serve in small nut cups or decorative bowls.
They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Yield: 2 cups