If you'd like to make a grown-up version of caramel sauce, add a tablespoon of coffee-flavored liqueur or bourbon instead of the vanilla extract.
Follow recipe for basic caramel, reducing sugar to 1 cup (do not reduce water). Remove caramel from heat, and carefully pour in heavy cream (caramel will bubble). With a clean wooden spoon, stir in vanilla extract and salt; stir until smooth. Pour or spoon over dessert. If not serving the sauce immediately, let cool; refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 weeks. Reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave, stirring in 1 tablespoon heavy cream.