Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and warm water until sugar dissolves. Add pecans; soak 10 minutes. Drain; discard liquid.
Combine 2 tablespoons sugar, chili powder, and red pepper. Add pecans; toss to coat. Place pecans in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once.