Turtle Caramel Corn…or as I like to call it, revenge on my dentist

I made caramel corn to rebel against my dentist. He’s annoying me as he is making me live out a Seinfeld episode. Maybe you saw it? The one where George goes to break up with a girl and she refuses to let him. Ironically I had that happen in my dating life. I broke up with a guy four times and each time he would say we weren’t broken up. He would tell me I’m not thinking clearly, I must be getting sick. That when I felt better we would discuss it then. This went on for like two weeks. So finally I made one of my hockey player friends, who just happened to look like a bouncer, kindly let him know I wasn’t dating him.

Anyway, what does this have to do with the dentist? I have TMJ. I’m a clincher, at night apparently. So my dentist tells me that we are going to do a bite adjustment, which they did. I needed more done. So he says I will either get a night guard or veneers. Which right away I say night guard. He tells me of course that he recommends the veneers (at $1200 apiece and I need 8, why wouldn’t you). I tell him no way. He tells me we will discuss my two options at my next appointment. So I come in and tell him night guard. He tells me no, veneers. I tell him night guard. He again tells me we will discuss it the next time. This went on for the last 4 times I have been. Finally I had to simply say, my way, or no way. Needless to say I am getting a night guard.

I have yet to understand why dentist are under the impression that I am rich. Is it because I come and visit them in my ripped t-shirt and sweatpants with my hair in a ponytail. Is this my problem? Do they think because I don’t dress for the dentist I must be some secretly rich person who doesn’t care about their appearance? No, it’s because all of my appointments are too frickin early in the morning and that’s what I look like. He seems shocked that I wouldn’t want to front $10,000 on my teeth. I especially love how he tells me he had TMJ and used veneers to fix his problem. I pointed out I didn’t make what he makes and he kind of blank stared at me.

So needless to say I decided the best way to anger my dentist is to eat sticky, sweet food that gets up in your teeth for days. That’ll show em. :P

This is a take on one of my favorite candies, turtles. I love the combo of chocolate, pecans, and caramel. You can skip adding the extra caramel pieces if you like since it technically is caramel corn, but it’s me and I have to add more calories to things whenever possible.

You want to hold out adding the caramel and chocolate till the end so they don’t get too hard. This is a nice take on caramel corn. If you want something a little more Fall like you can check out the Caramel-Apple Corn I made awhile back. Either way, please feel free to make, enjoy, and seek revenge on your dentist.

Turtle Caramel Corn

16 cups popped popcorn (I use the 94% fat free Kettle Corn…it has a nice salty sweet base)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (if can’t find use corn syrup)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. baking soda
16 caramels, unwrapped, and chopped into four pieces
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped unsalted pecans

Preheat oven to 250F. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl (the largest you have in the house) combine the popcorn and nuts. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, sugars, golden syrup, lemon juice and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter and sugars melt together.
Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil gently until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (300F on a candy thermometer) 6-9 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and the baking soda. They syrup with bubbles and foam with the baking soda is added, simply stir until it subsides.
Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture and stir with a large wooden spoon until a caramel glaze completely coast all the popped corn and nuts.
Divide the caramel corn between the prepared baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir and flip (I use a heat proof spatula) the caramel corn. Bake for another 20 minutes. Do the same again. This time before putting in oven, sprinkle in caramel pieces and chocolate chips. Make sure that they are on the corn and not the pan. Place into oven for another 10 minutes.
Let caramel corn cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container for up to a week.

Adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor

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  1. WOW. This. I must have. Looks so good! I’m also so glad I found you on Twitter — do you have a Twitter link on your site anywhere? I looked before, but ended up finding you randomly via La Luz Photography. So glad to get the delicousness in real time now!

  2. Lisa Bowers says:

    OMG you are amazing! My doctor would kill me if I ate even one of things you make, but just looking at them is enough! Okay, that’s a huge lie, I want to eat them! I can’t wait until I get to the point where I can actually try one of these! In the meantime I will just drool over the pretty pictures and think yummy thoughts!

    As always, impressed by your culinary skills!!!

  3. No, I don’t have a Twitter link. I am Bakerpeabody on there though.

  4. That looks delicious! wow, your dentist is kind of pushy! in Europe, noby gets veneers unless they are stars that want to make it in Hollywood. I’ve never even had crossbites.



  5. Whoa. We need this. Being dentist haters (repressed childhood trauma we suppose) we’re all for ways to stick it to him. And this, with the caramel, chocolate and pecans!?! This should do it.

  6. I was reading this right after I put my kids down for naps and had to make sure that I didn’t laugh to loud. Thanks for the great laugh and great recipes. We can’t wait to try the candy corn ice cream and now this. It is a good thing I am pregnant and gaining weight isn’t an issue.

  7. Can I just say “Damn you, Peabody?” Seriously, you’re murder on any intentions I have of eating healthy. But I guess that’s really the same thing as saying “kudos to you for the fantastically decadent treats.” It’s all in how you look at it. I don’t even want to think about how much negotiating there is to make sure you can eat all these wonderful things and stay within your points. You rock.

  8. I often do things like this out of spite. But they usually involve my father and my credit card and not the dentist. This popcorn recipe looks mindnumbingly delicious. This’ll show em.

    Also, I made your caramel italian meringue buttercream for some caramel macchiato cupcakes and adored it! Thanks so much for hte recipe!

  9. LOLz, way to “stick” it to the dentist! I never thought to use Lyle’s instead of corn syrup, what a great idea, I love golden syrup. ☺

  10. Your write up about you and your dentist made me smile as a fellow unlucky teethed person. Seriously, do they think we ooze money for them and only them? I’m not raking in your 6 figure salary, buddy!

    This looks deeelish! I’ve seen so many posts recently about caramel corn and need to make some. PS, I didn’t get to post the other day but your candy corn ice cream made me swoon!

  11. “You can skip adding the extra caramel pieces”. No. No skipping the extra caramel!!

  12. Upon reading your experience with your dentist and TMJ, of which I am also afflicted (my jaw is clinching involuntarily right now), I have decided that I must also exact revenge! :)

    (BTW – night guard didn’t work for me. Veneers were never suggested…don’t see how they would help.)

  13. This post is hilarious!!! And can I tell you how much I love the fact that you used 94% fat free popcorn??? So funny!

  14. mmm….mmm….mmmm…mmmmmmmmmmmm!!
    Okay now,
    that looks
    Oh my god sorry, but that just sounds too good to be true! Thanks for all your recipes! I could never think of that!



  15. Hehehe as someone who has braces for the second time in her life, I absolutely LOVE this post. Going to make this too! :P

  16. This will do it Peabody. I haven’t seen my dentist in a while knowing that I will be out of pocket thousands with all they will want to do. A sign of the times.

  17. Good for you for sticking to your guns! He shouldn’t have suggested the nightguard if it were not a feasible option; I see someone not concerned about Peabody’s teeth but perhaps his own pocketbook!!??
    Caramel corn looks delicious, too :)

  18. Hilarious…”Look into my eyes, you will get veneers!”

  19. haha ohh dentist will love you for this one!!

    I’ve never tried Lyle’s syrup before. What makes it different from regular corn syrup?

  20. Stephanie says:

    I was prescribed a bite splint for my TMJ to even out my bite…I clinch my teeth too. I am supposed to wear it all the time, but only wear at night, and it has helped tremendously with the pain and popping. But my case of TMJ may be less severe than yours.

  21. I love it. The story and the corn. I fired a dentist earlier this year. He told me that I needed several thousands of dollars of work done. I got a second opinion and that guy said I needed a grand total of zero done. Why do some of them insist on perpetuating the reputation that they are all crooks? Anyway, here’s to sticky caramel corn!

  22. The recipe looks delicious!

    Seriously pissed off about your dentist though… how would veneers stop your TMJ though?! Isn’t that just for looks? I grind my teeth at night and my nightguard helps with that. Good for you for sticking to your guns! Stupid dentist. You should almost drive by his office and pelt it with this candy… except it is too delicious.

  23. My husband is going to love this. I think I will surprise him with it this weekend

  24. I am making this for the second time now in 10 days. I had never made caramel corn before and had been scared to even try because of having to use a candy thermometer. But your’s looked so good that I overcame my fear and used your very easy to follow instructions and it turned out fabulous! I’m not afraid anymore and totally addicted. My husband who is not a lover of sweets warned me that the supply was getting low and stopped at the grocery store to get me the ingredients I needed so I would definitely say it’s a winner.

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