Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat well.
Combine flour, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small mixing bowl, stirring well. Gradually add to creamed mixture, stirring well after each addition. Press dough evenly into an ungreased 15- x 10- x 1-inch jellyroll pan; set aside.
Combine egg white (at room temperature), remaining sugar and cinnamon, and cold water in a small mixing bowl; beat lightly with a fork. Brush evenly over dough in pan; sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 300° for 45 minutes. Cool slightly in pan. Cut into 3- x 2-inch bars; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.