Heat oven to 350°
Butter and flour a 13 x 9 (2-inch deep) baking pan.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar, until lightened in color and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and eggs. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. In batches, sift dry mixture into bowl, mixing just until combined.
Spread batter into prepared pan, in an even layer and bake about 20 minutes or until it pulls away slightly from sides of pan. Cool completely on a rack.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt, and water over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Raise heat to high and bring to boil, without stirring, until it turns a golden caramel. Remove pan from heat and carefully add cream and 1/2 tablespoon vanilla–be careful, this will bubble up. Return pan to moderate heat and cook, stirring until smooth. Stir in the almonds and immediately pour mixture over base, tilting baking pan and spreading evenly.
Cool mixture completely in pan on rack and cut into bars.
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