It has come to my knowledge that there is something called a fluffernutter sandwich. I had heard of such a sandwich before, but was never quite sure if it really existed or if it was just an urban myth. Most certainly no such sandwich was part of my childhood, but then again, I didn’t eat my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich until I was in 7th grade. I was a strange kid.
So to satisfy my curiosity, I got to digging around on the internet. And, of course, Wikipedia came to the rescue with this answer:
“A fluffernutter sandwich is a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow creme. It’s name comes from the popular Marshmallow Fluff brand of marshmallow creme. It is particularly popular in the Northeastern United States and has been proposed as the state sandwich of Massachusetts.”
Who knew? Personally, marshmallow creme was a phenomenon I knew very little about first-hand. And although I love peanut butter, this sandwich sounded a lot more like a dessert to me than a viable lunch or dinner option.
Fluffernutter sandwiches may have zero appeal to me, but rolling all that sweet goodness into one gooey, caramel bar sounded like a very good idea. I based the bars off a recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from the most recent issue of Bon Appétit. The base is very similar to a blondie. A blondie that is filled with a marshmallow center, which is surprisingly delicious. I might go so far to say that these are one of the best desserts on the entire site. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2011, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
*3/4 cup packed brown sugar
*1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
*2 large eggs
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 cup mini marshmallows
*1/4 cup chopped walnuts
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
*In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a second bowl, beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar and butter until well-combined. Whisk in the eggs, one by one, followed by the kosher salt.
*Reserve 1/2 cup of the dough. Transfer the remaining dough to the lined baking pan and press into the bottom of the pan and 1-inch up the sides. Sprinkle the marshmallows atop the dough in pan, spreading in an even layer.
*With reserved 1/2 cup of dough, stir in the walnuts. With your fingers, drop the dough mixture atop the marshmallow layer in grape-sized pieces. (This doesn’t have to be a completely even layer. You should still be able to see some of the marshmallows.)
*Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and marshmallows are puffed. The bars may not seem done because of the marshmallow layer, but that is no cause to worry.
*Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Makes 9 Bars