This recipe and others where sugar is caramelized instruct you to “swirl” the pan to ensure even browning, and not to stir. When you first combine your ingredients in the saucepan over the heat, stir for a minute just until the sugar is dissolved. Then put down your spatula and resist the urge to stir the sugar as is cooks. If you do, you’ll end up with a huge mess.
Instead, while you’re watching the sugar, if it looks like areas of the pan are browning faster than others, simply lift the pan by the handle and use your wrist to swirl the contents around. This will keep your caramel evenly browned, and I do it often. When your caramel has reached that perfect amber color, remove it from the heat, you don’t want it to burn.