A well-known dessert truth? Sundaes are 1,000 times more awesome as soon as caramel sauce gets involved. For the Ice Cream Social, we served this classic Salted Caramel Sauce as well as coffee-spiked a version for a not-as-sweet but just as addictive version.
Stir together the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely moistened. Brush the insides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar granules then place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
Without stirring but swirling the pan occasionally, let the sugar boil until it turns turns amber in color, about 5 minutes. Give the pan a few good swirls to make sure it’s evenly cooking, remove from heat. Immediately add the cream and butter and swirl until the caramel is smooth and uniform in color. Return to heat and bring to boil, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and salt, remove from heat, and set aside until ready to use.