In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in cocoa until smooth. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 1 minute. Gradually add flour and salt. Stir in cocoa mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and, if desired, nuts.
Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup milk until smooth. Add pudding mix and remaining milk; beat for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in extract; fold in whipped topping. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate until set.
Just before serving, drizzle with caramel topping and garnish with chocolate curls if desired. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.