Spread the carrots in a single layer in a large skillet with a lid. Add enough water to cover the carrots halfway and then add the butter, sugar and thyme. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Partially cover with the lid and simmer until the carrots are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to high and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the liquid almost completely evaporates and the carrots are glazed. Discard the thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh thyme if using.
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