A basic caramel sauce by Ree Drummond calls for combining 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of half-and-half, 4 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Whisk over medium-low heat for five to seven minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and cook for another minute.
Another easy recipe, from Martha Stewart, calls for 1 cup of light brown sugar, 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, 1/4 cup of evaporated milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until thickened.
To make the "Classic Caramel Sauce" recipe from Epicurious, bring 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Combine 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of water in a heavy 3-quart saucepan, and bring it to a boil over high heat, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet brush to prevent crystals from forming. Continue cooking on high heat, without stirring, about six to eight minutes, until amber-colored. Reduce heat to medium and slowly stir in hot cream, continuing to stir as the cream bubbles. Remove from heat, and stir in 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter until melted. Then stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until cooled slightly.