6 ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt (optional)
Place sugar in a heavy bottom pot that also has high sides. This sauce bubbles vigorously as it is cooking so do not use a very small pot.
Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and becomes an amber color. You may stir and swirl it around to help it melt.
Add the butter and mix well. Wear oven mitts while doing this as it will heat up to be extremely hot and will bubble up vigorously. Whisk until the butter melts into the sauce.
Pour the heavy cream very cautiously as the same vigorous reaction will take place. Cook the sauce stirring until smooth.
If some crystalized bits of sugar remain, pass the sauce through a strainer before putting it in a storage container.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Add sea salt if a salted caramel flavor is desired.
Store in the refrigerator and reheat before using.