Today we are talking Fluffernutter. You know, that totally ridiculous sugar-laden sandwich made up of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff? Because sometimes we all need a dose of ridiculousness. Also, today just happens to be National Fluffernutter Day. It’s a thing! If your day is in need of a bit of sweet cuisine, you are in the right spot. Not only will you learn how to make homemade marshmallow fluff, you’ll learn how to put it in a sandwich.
For the ultimate Fluffernutter, you start with homemade marshmallow fluff. I mean, if you are going to indulge in a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich, it better be special, right? So let’s get started by making our fluff.
It is really quite simple, but I know there is some fear anytime cooked sugar and a thermometer are involved. I assure you it’s totally worth it. If you master this recipe, you’ll have the base knowledge for so many different types of homemade confections. For example, only short a bit of gelatin is needed to make homemade marshmallows, or change a few ratios and you have homemade nougat (homemade Snickers anyone?). Besides all that, at the end of this, you’ll have over 2 1/2 cups of a sweet, silky fluff that can be used as a icing, caking filling or an indulgent midnight snack.
Homemade marshmallow fluff recipe
Makes 2 1/2 cups
- 2 egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Note: Anytime you have a recipe with cooked sugar you want to make sure that all of your equipment is very clean.
Add the two egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/3 cup water. Mix well, making sure all the sugar is hydrated.
Wash down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar granules that may linger. You can do this with a pastry brush, or my preferred method — your hand. When you use your hand, you can actually feel if any sugar remains. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook on medium high heat until the thermometer reads 240 degrees F.
Tip: The reason why we take such care to remove any sugar from the sides of the pan is because we don’t want sugar to fall into the pan while it is caramelizing. The enemy of cooked sugar and caramels is crystallization. This occurs when the sugar caramelizes at different times. So if you have a pot of liquefied sugar and then a grain of sugar falls into that, you could end up with a pot of crystallized sugar. The other precaution you can take is to cover the pot for the first 5 minutes of cooking. As the sugar boils, condensation will build on the lid and then fall down the pot, washing the sides for you as it does.
While the sugar cooks, start beating your egg whites on medium low. Add the salt and increase the speed to create stiff peaks, this will take about 5 minutes depending on the size of your machine. The idea is that you want the egg whites to reach stiff peaks at roughly the same time as your sugar has reached 240 degrees F.
Your egg whites should be stiff like this when you go to add the cooked sugar.
When your sugar has hit the desired temperature, immediately remove the pan from the heat. With the machine running on medium low, slowly pour the hot syrup down the sides of the mixer. Pouring down the sides prevents the sugar syrup from splattering.
Increase the speed of the mixer to medium when all of the syrup has been incorporated. At this point, add the seeds of a vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Tip: To get the seeds of a vanilla bean, simply run a paring knife down the middle of the bean, open it up with your hands and then run the knife down the interior of the bean, picking up all those beautiful seeds as it goes. Once the seeds are out of the bean, don’t throw it out. You’ve paid good money for that bean and you want to make sure you get the most out of it. Toss it into your sugar container to created vanilla-scented sugar, or save it for the next time you are steeping milk or cream for hot chocolate or ice cream. You can also leave the bean on the counter to dry, then grind it in a spice grinder or food processor, and add that to sugar. All of the bean is edible.
Continue to beat the fluff until the bottom of the bowl feels just warm, no longer hot, and stiff, glossy peaks form.
You can use this immediately and store any remaining fluff in a sealed container for 1 week.
Now, let’s make Fluffernutter
The hardest part is over and you survived. Chances are you are still licking the sticky, sweet goo off of your fingers. That’s perfect.
Next you’ll need bread. I like a good artisan white bread with a soft interior and a crisp, thick crust, but you can use whatever you like.
You’ll also need peanut butter. I take mine crunchy. What about you — creamy or crunchy? Either one is fine.
The classic Fluffernutter is just those three ingredients slathered together, but I like mine toasted.
In between the slices of bread, I heap a generous amount of the crunchy peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on one side of the bread, then top with the other piece of bread. I add a good amount of butter to a hot skillet, then slide in my sandwich. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or until deep golden.
When the Fluffernutter is grilled, you get a bit of toastiness from the bread and butter and then the peanut butter and marshmallow fluff is warm and soft. What a treat!