Everyone smiles in the same language….

I have a gift. A gift for attracting strange people. So does my bff. We have come to the conclusion that we are smilers and that is what gets us into trouble. I’m almost always smiling and I have a habit of smiling at people. Which doesn’t sound odd, but if you really pay attention, not that many people do.

I loved in the movie Elf when he says “Smiling’s my favorite”. Not because it is my favorite, hockey is my favorite, but because I could relate.
Usually I get strange looks when I smile at people.
I’ve been asked more time I can count if I’m on drugs. For the record, I am not.
I get the half smile while you can see their mind racing thinking, how do I know this person? You don’t…I’m just being…wait for it…friendly.
And then you get the super crazy people that because you smiled at them they now want to be your bff and tell you all about their life. I find a lot of these. And yet it does not deter me…it just usually gives me good stories. :D
I also get a lot of offers to convert to random religions.

I know I got this trait from my mom. There have been more than a few occasions when a complete stranger has been at our house for a holiday (my mom loves people over for Thanksgiving…both, Easter, and New Year’s Day). All because my mom smiled and struck up a conversation. Then she found out that they had no where to go for the holiday and the next thing you know, stranger next to me at the dinner table. So apparently it rubbed off. I mean, I haven’t had an strays at my dinner table yet, but I wouldn’t put it past me not to do it.

Baking of course is something that makes me smile as well. I was standing in the kitchen this morning baking these jumbles and I caught myself smiling. No one was around, it was just for me…the smiling fool. And of course the fact that there is caramel in these makes me smile as well.
These are a take on the ever popular jam jumble cookie bar. But they are made better because they have chocolate and caramel. Mmmmm. Pretty simple to make, other that the annoying unwrapping of the caramels. But if you can get passed that, and I’m sure you can, you have yourself a nice little treat.

Oatmeal Turtle Jumbles

For the Base & Topping:
6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾  cup granulated sugar
¾  cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 ¾  cups all-purpose flour
½  tsp baking soda
½  tsp salt
1 ½  cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup purchased caramels halved ( might have added a few more :) )

For the Filling:

¾ cup milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup pecans (it called for chopped but I left mine whole)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; coat an 8 ½  x 12-inch baking sheet with nonstick spray (I used a 9-x-13-inch pan, worked fine),

Cream butter and both sugars in a bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the egg and mix to blend, followed by the flour, baking soda, and salt; mix to incorporate. Add in oats and mix on low speed until incorporated.

Crumble 2 cups of dough over the bottom of the prepared baking sheet. Press to cover base of the pan (don’t push dough up the sides); set aside.

Add halved caramels to remaining dough, working them in with your fingers; set aside for the topping.

Melt chocolate chips, condensed milk, and cocoa powder together for the filling in a saucepan over medium- low heat. Cook until mixture is smooth, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Off heat, stir in the pecans and vanilla.

Pour the filling over the dough in the pan and spread evenly. The layer will be fairly thin.

Crumble dough with caramel pieces evenly over the top of the chocolate. Bake bars for 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set and topping is firm. Cool bars completely before cutting.

Adapted from Cuisine at Home Magazine

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  1. I am also the kind who smiles to people… In Switzerland, that can freak people out!

    Lovely bars!



  2. i am outing myself as a smiler too. but here in germany people seem to like that and smile back. loving the falvors here!

  3. Kraft caramels are pretty much all that is available in my area and I don’t care for them so I made these with Butter Chews from See’s Candy, heaven! Taking them to work to get them out of the house.

  4. It’s been so long since I’ve seen something colourful back in your blog. It’s really nice to have a break from back and brown :) No matter what colours they are in, they are still fabulous pics of fabulous food.

    I’m bookmarking this!!!

  5. These are the BOMB! The best! yum yum

  6. Keep on smiling Peabody, it may make someone’s day. In the meantime let’s eat.

  7. Smiler over here! My mom and I make friends anytime we’re in line somewhere. Those bars though might make me some more friends though! And can I just say, I love that you managed to include a reference to my favorite Christmas movie! “I like your dress. It’s very purpley.”

  8. I cant tell you how many times I smile smile smile and its shot down by unhappy people but its still worth smiling!!! I believe we can infuse goodness into others that way! :) Keep smiling!!!!!!

    Now these little jumbles… drool!

  9. These look so good!! I know what you mean about the smiling thing, I am the person that the Walmart cashier will start pouring their heart out to….and I’m all “uh…ok….I just want to pay for my stuff”. I guess that’s why so few people are friendly nowadays, it’s too big of a responsibility!!

  10. I’m the same way, a big smiler (why not, right??), and always attracting odd folks. But hey, it makes life interesting, right?

    LOVE these bars, they look fantastic. I’m adding them to my Peabody bookmark list, which is growing quite sizable!!!

  11. MM Yummy

  12. I’m from the south and it is very common to smile, nod and say hello to complete strangers. When my husband and I lived in the NW for a few years, I’m sure we freaked some people out! It’s just being courteous.

    Now the bars, they look scrumptious!

  13. Chocolate and caramel. Yes, yes, and yes. I am the opposite of you. I am not a smiler. People often ask me if I am mad or will tell me to smile. There is nothing wrong (usually), I guess my face just has a “serious look” as the default.

  14. I am just like you. When I was younger people used to warn me not to smile at strangers. But I just can’t help it.
    Maybe it’s because we both like baking. Because obviously if you’re eating yummy treats like these, you are going to smile! :)

  15. I seem to have that same gift! But you know how they say, you get back what you put out… I guess I am pretty strange myself. ;)

  16. I’ve struck up many a conversation starting from a smile.

    These look amazing! Going to make them this weekend. Have to keep fattening up the coworkers while I’m losing weight to make myself look skinnier. Thanks for all the help with that!

  17. Strange person magnet here…

  18. Well, I think it would be a much better world if everybody smiled as much as you & I. Seems perfectly right to me to stand in the kitchen by myself and smile … especially making these :0)
    I’m with you. … strangers and all!

  19. I love when people smile at me. Of course, in LA, that happens all the time. People say we are fake here, but I think most people are just happy to be alive, happy that it’s sunny, happy to be walking with their dogs/kids/spouses, etc. I think it’s lovely. And if I didn’t have chocolate cake for breakfast today, I would run to the kitchen and make these jumbles stat. Damn, that ingredient list is making my hands itch!

  20. These Turtle Jumbles are making me feel all tingly inside

  21. You would fit right in down South. We smile and say hello to complete strangers because it’s polite and people smile back. No one looks at you like you are crazy, but I can’t promise lonely people won’t latch on and want to be your friend.

  22. I smile a lot, too. Sometimes it’s just wind.

    Why I’d love to come to your house for Thanksgiving. Thanks, Peabody!
    Can we stay for a fortnight?

  23. If you don’t smile, you’ll get the other weirdos who complain that you’re not smiling. You cannot win. Except with Oatmeal Turtle Jumbles. Definitely making these… Thanks :)

  24. Oh man I have that problem to, I use to take the bus everywhere and attracted some interesting characters. these look super good carmel and chocolate are my best friends. yum!

  25. I’m a smiler too! We’re not overly happy people, we just know to appreciate the little things in life. Like the smell of crepes cooking in my kitchen as I’m typing this. That makes me smile!

  26. My Mom and I used to play a game when we were waiting for my Dad in a public place. We would get a point for every person we could get to smile at us. Very fun game. You sit there looking like you’re a little bit “simple” and it’s great the responses you get! Thanks for reminding me of that game. I’ll have to teach it to my own kids. Your bars also look delicious! Can’t wait to try them!

  27. Ive said it before, and Ill say it again… mad genius Peabody. :)

  28. I am a smiler too. We all need to be smiled at, keep up the good work.

  29. I can relate to the smiling at people and having them tell you their life story. I too have been asked if I’m on something.. no I am not..:) I have also been asked, Why are you so happy as if there must be something wrong with me. I have always been happy and smiling is as natural as breathing:) Beautiful photos of the bars, will try them soon, thanks:):)

  30. This is off-topic, but I introduced my BF to snickerdoodles recently at a cafe and how he loves them. I don’t have a go-to recipe for them, so before I started googling I thought to myself…doesn’t one of my favorite bloggers have a good recipe? So I searched your archives and while there are many snicker-themed items including the highly praised muffin, there’s no actual snickerdoodle cookie recipe! Is that something you might one day remedy? I ran into the same thing with Tartelette and a traditional cherry clafoutis. You guys are so busy coming up with amazing variations that we never get to try out your base recipes. Thanks in advance if you’re able to post the cookie recipe.

  31. For some reason, I attract all of the people I don’t want to attract. Psycho guy on the subway. Yes. Hot guy at the bar. No. Not good.

    What is good? These bars. I love the turtle combo.

  32. Keep smiling! And bring those cookies along :-)

  33. I always love your posts and these delicious treats certainly look good :). Yummm!

  34. Those look great- a good recipe to use up my bag(s) of caramel chips sitting in my pantry!

    I’m not a super smiler and I dont’ attract strangers, but my husband is very friendly and attracts the wierdest people!

  35. I smile a lot…but I try to be really polite to people as well…yesterday in the grocery store lineup (I have a double wide stroller and can only fit it through the 10 items or less checkout) and I had clearly more than 10 items…my kids were asking the cashier for stamps and stickers and I knew the seniors behind me were getting super aggitated. I threw them a smile and a “thanks so much for being patient with us!” They were caught so off guard they stopped looking aggitated but had no idea what to say to me. It was great :)

    These bars look really good! I think my husband will love them :)

  36. Yum! These look amazing! I smile a lot too and get some strange looks or people that are way too chatty :)

  37. Julia M says:

    I LOVE this movie… I watch it over and over again around the holidays. This movie makes me smile! And I know my coworkers will smile when I bring in these bars. –thanks!

  38. I need to move closer to you so I can sometimes be the goat. Do you do goat mail order?

    I’m a smiler too and I used to have your same problem. I have become rather aloof over the years so now when I smile I give off an aloof vibe which probably makes me just seem disturbing or crazy. You should try it some time, it solves many problems.

  39. OH, I’ll bet those are extra good when warmed up in the microwave.

  40. I am embarrassed about my smile and never flash my teeth at anyone. This results in a bit of a weird smile which must scare people!!
    These look delicious, I love the addition of the caramel.

  41. i guess it’s the different cultures people have. although, there’s really no harm smiling…unless it’s the ‘wrong’ people. haha. anyway, these look reeeally good! i’m drooling over over, with a smile

  42. Oh, goodness. I hate cynical people. They just suck the spirit out of everyone (I mean, drugs??!! WTF?). Maybe you can give them an oatmeal jumble to make *them* smile ;)

  43. These look fantastic. The’ve got a bit of everything, chocolate, pecans, caramle, oaty mmmm indeed!

  44. Made these tonight (minus the pecans) and am bringing them into the office tomorrow. I am certain they will be a hit. Thanks for the recipe!

  45. You have a lovely smile, so it’s worth sharing. These bar cookies are making me smile. They want to come into my kitchen and be my BFF!

  46. Smile and the world smiles with you…except for the suspicious folks who wonder if you are laughing at them. Love the movie Elf..so lighthearted.
    This is a fun take on the jumble cookies…having the caramels in the topper dough is a brilliant idea! Bet they got nice and melty.

  47. Chocolate and Caramel. Sighing (with a smile). Must make these.

  48. Those squares look so good!

  49. haha, I’m the same. More then I can say I might think of something funny when walking in a mall for instance by yourself and end up with a huge smile on my face. I get exceptionally odd looks then.

    I must try these, they look sinfully wonderful!

  50. Amy Schleider says:

    My theory on smiling: makes people wonder what you’re up too. Lol
    I had cataract surgery on my left eye in February Afterwards I was totally shocked by the improvement in my vision and could see the expressions on peoples faces more readily. Ha ha. I was smiling and they smiled back. Wonders Neva cease. It’s a beautiful thing…. Smiling


  1. […] adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. […]

  2. […] recipe I had tucked away for a special occasion was this one for Oatmeal Turtle Jumbles. They have a little of everything, how could I […]

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