3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 plus 1/8 teapsoon salt
1 teaspoon Stubb’s Hickory Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Place the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and a 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir often as the mixture comes to a boil, letting the sugar dissolve. When the sauce boils, immediately reduce the heat to low and stir constantly until the sauce thickens slightly (to a consistency of chocolate syrup), about 2 minutes. (Tips: Watch to make sure mixture doesn’t boil over. Don’t let it thicken too much, or as it cools, it will harden into candy.) Stir in the Hickory Liquid Smoke, vanilla and pecans. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.
While the sauce is still warm but not hot, stir in the cream with a spatula. At first, the sauce (which has thickened even more) may seem hard to stir, but keep at it until the cream blends uniformly into the sauce, just a minute or so. Taste the sauce; if desired, stir in the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. (Salt boost the overall sweet-caramel flavor of the sauce, as long as you don’t add too much, or too little.)
Serve the sauce warm, by reheating in a saucepan or microwave (use short bursts so it doesn’t boil over), or serve it cold. Be sure to stir it before serving, as the nuts tend to float to the top. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week.