Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease. Place in the oven at 250° F for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the salt, cinnamon, smoked paprika, ground cumin, cayenne, and baking soda. Keep the bowl close by as you will need this mixture later in the candy-making process.
In a saucepot on medium heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water until well combined and let it come to a boil. Attach the candy thermometer, and while occasionally stirring, cook the sugars until it reaches 300°F, or the hard crack stage, about 10-15 minutes. When the temperature reaches 275°F, remove the baking sheet from the oven if you haven’t already, and be sure that it’s close by as you’ll need to act quickly when the candy is done.
(While I highly recommend using a thermometer, if you don’t have one, to test if the candy has reached the hard crack phase is to spoon a little into a glass of water. If the candy turns into threads and is hard and brittle when removed, it is at the hard-crack phase.)
As soon as the sugar reaches 300°F, remove from the heat and stir in the butter, the pecans, and the vanilla. Keep stirring. When the butter has melted, stir in the spices and baking soda. Continue stirring, and the candy should turn a lighter color and get a little puffy, after about 5 to 10 seconds. This means the candy is ready to be turned out to cool.
Working quickly, spoon the candy onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread it thin. Sprinkle over the candy the flaked sea salt, and allow to cool, about 1 hour. Once cool, break into pieces.
If you have a silicone spatula, I recommend stirring and spreading with it as it will be easier to clean, but you can also use a wooden spoon, too. To clean your pot, thermometer, and spoon, fill the pot 2/3 of the way with water and a bit of dish soap, place the pot with the thermometer and spoon inside of it on the stove, and bring to a boil. When the water is hot, the hardened candy will clean off the pot, thermometer, and spoon.
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