Line a baking sheet with foil. Butter the foil or lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray; set baking sheet aside. Spread nuts evenly in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once.*Advertisement
Place sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat over medium-high heat, shaking several times to heat sugar evenly (do not stir). Heat until some of the sugar is melted. Begin to stir only melted sugar to keep it from overbrowning; stir in remaining sugar as it melts. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes, or until all sugar is melted and golden. Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
Add warm nuts to skillet; stir to coat. Pour onto baking sheet lined with buttered foil; cool. Makes 2 cups (8 servings).
If nuts are toasted before sugar is melted in step 2, leave nuts in oven and turn oven off to keep nuts warm until needed. If using the cashews, they are already toasted so just warm them in the oven for the 10 minutes.