I recently discovered that October 8 is National Fluffernutter Day. But imagine my shock when I also learned that not everyone knows what a Fluffernutter is! (Mind out of the gutter you Urban Dictionary aficionados.) A Fluffernutter is an iconic sandwich consisting simply of white bread, peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff. Like so many culinary delights (like baked beans, lobster rolls, Necco wafers and Sam Adams beer), Marshmallow Fluff is a New England creation invented by a fellow from Lynn, Massachusetts back in 1917. It is a sweet, fluffy (hence the name) “spreadable” (maybe not – see below) confection consisting of corn syrup, sugar, vanilla and egg whites. And as far as I can tell, it has a shelf life of forever.
The recipe for the sandwich seems simple enough. But as anyone who has ever actually made a Fluffernutter knows, there is a right way and a horribly, terribly wrong way to make this sandwich. Your first instinct might be to simply smear some peanut butter on one slice of white bread, spread some Fluff on the other slice of bread, slap the two together and enjoy. But no….as any Fluffernutter fanatic can attest, Fluff does not simply spread. No, try spreading Fluff on a virgin slice of plain white bread and you will soon start wondering if Fluff isn’t part Super Glue. As you draw your Fluff-laden knife across the bread you will find that the bread is so attracted to the Fluff it will tear itself out of its very crust so that it can rise up and wrap itself around all that Fluff still enveloping the knife. In the end you are left with a crumb coated glob of Fluff on the knife and a pathetic crust carcass on the plate.
As any master Fluffernutter chef can tell you, the proper way to create a Fluffernutter is to start by spreading gobs of peanut butter on the first slice of bread, then spreading mounds of Fluff on top of the peanut butter and then topping it all off with the second slice of bread. Voila! The perfect, classic Fluffernutter sandwich!
I have been a Fluffernutter fan for as long as I can remember, but the peak Fluffernutter consumption occurred when I was pregnant with my daughter. Peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches were what I craved most, and I’m talking about a good 1 1/2 to 2 inches of filling. On the trashy white bread too – none of that whole grain, fiber-filled stuff would spoil my sandwich.
Although the Fluffernutter is the best way to enjoy Marshmallow Fluff, it does have one or two other uses. I have a recipe for the richest, creamiest chocolate fudge that lists Fluff as one of its ingredients. And there’s the Fluff and cream cheese fruit dip recipe that’s pretty tasty too. I’ve even come across a recipe for faux S’mores that subs the marshmallow and chocolate with Fluff and Nutella (that sounds like a good cupcake too.) But other than these, I’m not aware of too many other recipes for Fluff. If anyone knows of one, I’d love to hear about it.
I’m coming up on the first anniversary of writing this blog, and if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that if a particular food exists, somebody’s turned it into a cupcake. And if someone’s created a cupcake, I’m going to add some “spirit” to it. So here it is: the Fluffernutter cupcake with marshmallow vodka frosting – a nice peanut butter cupcake adapted from a recipe by How Sweet It is, with a marshmallow vodka swirl, topped with the Fluff-iest marshmallow vodka infused frosting and finished with a drizzle of melted peanut butter. No crumbly bread needed.
This recipe makes about 1 dozen cupcakes. They are fabulous served the day they are made, but I found if you pop them in the microwave for maybe 8 seconds the next day, they’re even better!
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter morsels
2/3 cup Marshmallow Fluff (spray your measuring cup with cooking spray first to avoid over-stickiness)
1 tablespoon marshmallow vodka
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill cupcake tin with paper liners.
In medium bowl, combine Fluff and vodka. Keep stirring, it will combine. Set aside.
Cream butter and peanut butter in large bowl of electric mixer until well combined and creamy.
Add sugar and eggs and beat together until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix for another minute.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, until just combined.
Fold in the peanut butter chips and Fluff mixture.
Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake 18 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
Marshmallow Vodka Frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon marshmallow vodka
1/4 cup peanut butter
Cream butter in bowl of electric mixer. Add Fluff and beat for 2-3 minutes. Add confectioner sugar, salt and vodka, combine at low speed, then beat at high speed for 3-4 minutes. Frost cupcakes as desired.
Melt peanut butter for 30 seconds or so in microwave. Drizzle over frosted cupcakes.