Place a large sheet of foil on a work surface. Spray with cooking spray or rub a teaspoon of oil over foil with a paper towel.
Place sugar in a large non-stick saute pan and heat over medium heat, occasionally tipping and swirling the sugar until it is all melted into a pale golden syrup.
Lower heat immediately and add butter, cinnamon, smoked paprika and vanilla. Stir until well combined and all butter is incorporated into the sugar syrup.
Add the nuts and stir gently to coat. Don't worry if you have some clumps of caramelized sugar. The clumps will melt as you continute to saute the almonds.
Cover and continue to cook on low, stirring every minute or so until almonds are a golden brown. Watch very carefully as they can go from beautiful to burned very quickly. Turn out onto prepared foil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Spread out on foil to cool.