Place your egg whites into a bowl and allow to rise to room temperature.
(Steps 2 and 3 should be done simultaneously if possible so that the egg whites and sugar mixture are ready about the same time.) Place the egg whites into your mixer and beat on high until stiff peaks form. This took about 10 minutes on my stand mixer.
In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil. Stir continuously until the sugar has melted and the temperature of the mix rises to soft ball stage on a candy thermometer.
Once soft ball stage is reached and the egg whites are stiff, pour half of the sugar syrup into the egg whites.
Continue beating the egg whites on medium and place the sugar syrup back onto the burner. Allow the syrup to rise to hard ball stage on the candy thermometer.
Once hard ball stage is reached, slowly pour the remainder of the syrup into the egg whites.
Add in the vanilla.
Continue beating on high until the mix holds stiff, glossy peaks. This took about 10 additional minutes on my stand mixer, but watch carefully! Overmixing will cause the candy to have a crumbly, dry texture. If you are unsure, try step 9 to check readiness.
Once ready, spray a teaspoon with cooking spray and drop by the spoonful onto parchment.
Top each piece with a pecan half.
Allow to cool and store in a closed container.