For the caramel: In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, add sugar and maple syrup. Watch carefully and when the sugar starts to melt, start whisking it. It may clump - that's ok - keep whisking until it is smooth and fully melted. Slow down your whisking until the sugar turns a deep amber colour (similar to the colour of maple syrup). Be careful to keep a close eye on it because it is easy to burn the sauce here. If you have a candy thermometer, you want it to reach 350F.
At this point, carefully add the coconut oil. Continue to whisk until the oil is melted and the sauce is smooth in consistency.
Remove from heat and carefully pour in the coconut milk. Whisk until smooth. Add sea salt and whisk again to combine. Set aside to cool.
For the brownies:Preheat oven to 375F. Line an 8"x 8" pan with wax paper and grease lightly with coconut oil.
In a small bowl, whisk chia seeds and water together. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine coconut oil, cocoa, coconut milk and vanilla. Add chia "egg" and stir to combine.
In a seperate bowl, combine the dry ingredients - almond meal, brown rice flour, sugar and sea salt. Add the wet to the dry and stir until there are no more dry parts. Stir in your chocolate chips coconut and walnuts, if desired.
Add about half the batter to the greased pan. Then pour on a few tablespoons of the caramel sauce (you may need to reheat it a bit to make it pourable) and spread across the brownie batter with a spatula. Add the second half of the brownie batter on top.
Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting or removing from the pan! Serve with some of the extra caramel sauce and vanilla coconut ice cream if desired!