Stir together a cup or 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and a few tablespoons water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Cook over medium-low heat until it starts to simmer. Gently brush any sugar crystals down the sides with a brush dipped in water.
Get your other ingredients in place (vanilla, cream, butter).
Wait and don't touch.
Wait and still don't touch. Try not to panic.
Keep waiting, spoon in hand, until you see and smell a little corner of the caramel start to smoke.
Immediately take off the heat, pour in 1+ cup cream, the vanilla, and a few tablespoons of butter. Stir stir stir. Watch out, it will get angry.
Mmm.... taste. Taste again. Taste again. Taste... oh, wait, you have to save some for the cupcakes you're making. Pour the whole thing over some chopped, salted nuts.
Carve out the centers from a batch of chocolate cupcakes and spoon in the nutty caramel goodness.
Replace tops and frost. Contemplate trademarking the name "Snickers Cupcakes".