Combine sugar and water in a heavy saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. Cook 13 minutes or until sugar dissolves. (Do not stir.) Cover, increase heat to medium, and boil 1 minute. (This will dissolve any sugar crystals clinging to sides of pan.) Uncover and boil 10 additional minutes or until amber or golden. (Do not stir.)
Remove from heat; let stand 1 minute. Carefully add margarine, stirring until it melts. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. (Caramel will harden and stick to spoon.) Place pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until caramel melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and salt. Pour sauce into a bowl; serve warm or chilled. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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Has anyone else tried this recipe? I followed the instructions to a "T", but as the sugar/water mixture boiled the sugar formed a crystallized crust on the surface, preventing me from seeing what was happening underneath. I tried to use the color between the cracks as an indication of when to remove it, but when I finally did (and I did not dare stir it in the meantime) it had already hardened into a solid disk in the bottom of the saucepan. I added the butter and milk hoping the sugar would re-liquefy, but I'm afraid I may be resigned to chipping it out with a jackhammer. Until I find out exactly what went wrong, I won't be trying this again.