Put nuts, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and coat a silicon scraper with cooking spray.
Bring water and sugar to a boil over high heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Let water boil until the sugar is dissolved then reduce heat to medium-high and let simmer until mixture gets turns cinnamon colored. It will start to turn brown just over 250°f and it will be done between 275°f and 300°f. When it starts getting deeper brown swish the pan a bit to make sure you’re seeing what color it really is.
(To make things a bit more interesting I used black pepper cashews from Trader Joe’s.)
A candy thermometer is helpful but not necessary for making brittle.
As soon as you decide that the sugar is done, remove from heat and throw in the cashew mixture. Mix quickly and pour onto prepared baking sheet. Spread as thinly as you can and set aside until it cools. Break apart and enjoy.
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