When I was in culinary school we spent days on caramel, candies, and other sugar work. It’s all very detail-oriented and the smallest change in temperature can make a huge difference.
Don’t start making candy if you have to use the restroom, because you cannot walk away from the stove even for a few minutes! I learned that the hard way.
Luckily there is a way to make caramel sauce that is super streamlined and simple, with no special equipment required. This caramel sauce recipe, which you can add salt to for salted caramel sauce, actually comes from my cookbook Cookies & Cream: Hundreds of Ways to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich.