Recipe: Salty Peanut Butter & Fluffernutter Cookie Sandwiches

Do you have those flavors from your childhood that really stick with you? Flavor combos that you don’t indulge in very often, but when you do you are immediately transported to a different time and place?

I think for many, peanut butter fluffernutter sandwiches is one of those flavor combos. A mix of sugary marshmallow fluff and sticky, salty peanut butter. The kind of sandwich that sticks to the roof of your mouth and you have to pry it off with your tongue.

I will be honest with you (because we’re all friends here) and say that as a child, not too crazy about marshmallow fluff. Not my jam. But as an adult who is constantly seeking that perfect sweet and salty combo, I’m all about a fluffernutter sandwich. And these cookies sandwiches take one of my fav recipes to date (these pb cookies) and elevates them to a holier place: the perfect sweet and salty.

And since we’re being honest, my peanut butter sandwich of choice as a child was a peanut butter and apple butter sandwich. Eating that combo instantly reminds me of being a kid. I know that’s weird. Don’t @ me. Now, let’s get to it.

Salty Peanut Butter & Fluffernutter Cookie Sandwiches

Adapted from this recipe | yields a dozen sandwiches

Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour*

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/4 tablespoon coarsely ground salt (I find that salt from a salt grinder works best)

Marshmallow Fluff:

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat.

Bake your cookies: In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter and peanut butter together. Mix in brown sugar. Add in vanilla and the egg and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to aerate and combine. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until you have a dough. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. 

While dough is chilling, combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground salt into a small bowl. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in the salt/sugar mixture and place on the lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Using the tines of a fork, press the fork into the dough to create the cookie’s pattern. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges begin to get slightly darkened. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Whisk your fluff: Whisk egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a double boiler over medium-high heat. Whisk frequently until mixture reaches 160 degrees (I used a candy thermometer). Transfer mixture into bowl of electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beginning at low speed, gradually increase speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Mix in vanilla.

Transfer fluff to a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Match up your cookies and place upside down. Pipe marshmallow fluff onto a cookie and lightly press another cookie on top to create sandwiches. Because of the strong salt and peanut butter flavors, this sandwiches can handle a decent amount of fluff inside. I would even encourage another level of fluff.

(This is the fancy way of doing things. Feel free to just slap that fluff into the cookies with an offset spatula or even a spoon.)

Store in an airtight container and eat within a few days. After that, the moisture in the fluff with start to soften the cookies.

*If you do not have cake flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour. The cake flour makes these cookies softer and more delicate, but all-purpose will do just fine in a pinch.

PB Fluff Sandwich Cookies 4.jpg

Cocktail: Blood Orange Paloma

If I’m being honest, I would have a paloma over a margarita any day. Not that I don’t like a margarita, but a paloma just feels more in tune with what I like in a cocktail:

  1. I’m always interested in a grapefruit cocktail and it’s definitely my favorite cocktail “flavor”

  2. Sometimes margaritas give me an acid reflux-like feeling when i drink too many of them

  3. Usually a lighter cocktail since there’s bubbles in it

I also know it’s springtime but I had a bowlful of blood oranges and a grapefruit sitting around just looking to be added to tequila. So a blood orange paloma was born right their on my kitchen counter.

And if you’ve never had a paloma, think of it as the margarita’s lighter, bubblier grapefruit-y partner. It’s good, just try it!

Blood Orange Paloma

Makes 1 drink

  • 2 oz blood orange juice

  • 1 oz grapefruit juice

  • 2 oz tequila

  • splash of lime juice

  • 2-4 dashes of grapefruit bitters (optional but recommended)

  • lime seltzer

  • coarse sea salt for rim

Rim the glass: on a small plate, pour out the coarse sea salt. If you want to seem even fancier, add a tiny amount of chili powder and mix together for a slightly spicy rim. Wet the rim of your glass and press it into the salt. If you are having trouble getting the salt to spicy, try using a small amount of honey or agave syrup to the rim and pressing that into the salt mixture.

Make cocktail: In a cocktail shaker with ice, add blood orange and grapefruit juices, tequila, grapefruit bitters, and squeeze of lime juice. Shake until combined. Add ice to your salt-rimmed glass and pour the cocktail over ice. Cheers!

Recipe: Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Truffles

Do you ever just need a weekend to fully reset? Mostly no social plans, just a few items on a to-do list and a lot of time to hang by yourself, get stuff done, and go to bed early? As much as I love an action-packed weekend with endless plans and dance-until-3am nights, I treasure a reset weekend wayyyyy more and my body and mind thanks me for it over and over again.

Over this reset weekend, I was able to spend some time in the kitchen working on a few treats for y’all and photographing them, cleaned the house up, getting laundry done, catching up with a friend, hanging out with my parents and getting rid of an extra bed that was clogging up our spare bedroom, and mainly just hanging in the house, eating pizza on the deck and getting into bed before 9PM. I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I’m currently loving being home and that love affair continues, which is helping me save money and stay on top of things.

BUT today we’re talking about these little pops of sugary-cinnamony sunshine: Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Truffles!

These no-bake treats are incredibly simple and there’s just something about them (I’ve previously shared a recipe for regular White Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles) that seems so much more special than just white chocolate and cream cheese blended together. The flavors melt together into a sweet, creamy cheesecakey center that can be liken to truffles purchased at a fancy candy shop. All from your own kitchen with no baking and minimal effort. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Bites

Yields 2 dozen

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

  • 24 oz white chocolate chips, separated into 8 oz and 16 oz

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tablespoon cake seasoning (if you don’t have this, replace with 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth. Melt 8 oz of white chocolate chips in the microwave and add into the cream cheese, along with the vanilla extract and spices. Mix until combined and refrigerate for 1 hour or until filling is stiff.

Remove from the refrigerator and roll your filling into small balls about the size of a large marble. Place on a plate and freeze for 30 minutes to hardened slightly.

Melt the rest of the white chocolate and begin dipping your filling into the white chocolate. Remove each ball with a fork, slightly shake off some of the extra chocolate and place each truffle on a piece of wax paper or a nonstick baking mat to dry. You want to make sure the entire filling ball is coated in chocolate. Decorate with a dusting of cinnamon and let the chocolate set completely before enjoying. Store in the fridge or eat quickly.

Spring 2019 Checklist

It’s amazing that at 29 years old, I’m still surprised every spring when the cold, gray days subside and I start to feel AMAZINGLY better on a daily basis. My mood is more stable and uplifted, it’s easier to get up every (most) mornings, and I just feel better. Better about life. Better about situations that are less-than perfect. Better about pretty much everything. Even if you don’t have seasonal depression, the winter blues are very real and it’s amazing what sitting at home with the windows open or taking a walk can do for you.

I don’t really want to set any monthly goals or anything like that, but more these seasonal intentions where I just give myself a list of things to keep in mind for the season.

Bake more: I wrote about this in a recent post, but getting back into baking was such a struggle for me for a little bit. But I think I’ve gotten myself over that hump and am feelin’ inspired y’all! I got a list of recipes I want to test and perfect, I got a new camera so I’m excited to shoot those recipes and I’m stoked to just get this little piece of the interweb going again. It gives me lifeeeee.

Plant herbs on the deck: As much as I want to grow tomatoes and peppers on the deck, I’m disappointed every year because the squirrels and cats eat everything off of them. This year I’m just going to stick to potted herbs and see how that goes. Definitely not as exciting as veggies, but I’m still looking forward to it!

Spend more time out and about in the city: I LOVE spending my Saturdays bouncing around the city with my friends on foot, eating cheap snacks, shopping, and people watching. It’s honestly one of my favorite things to do during the warmer months and I’m stoked to get that going again. Horchata latte in hand, converse sneaks on my feet.

Continue cooking more: For once in my life, I feel like I’m improving in my cooking ability. It’s finally fun to cook and I don’t feel so scared of messing up. I’m hoping this isn’t just a phase and I can keep up cooking at home a couple nights a week!

Deal with my adult things: This one is super boring. I have a list of adult things that need to be taken care of and I keep putting off. I need to get those things done. Being an adult is hard sometimes.

Buy myself more flowers: you know, just because

Work on a reoccurring Philly ice cream post: This is something my friend Kate and I have been talking about for YEARS and I want to hammer it out this spring. Just a reoccurring feature highlighting some of the city’s best ice cream places.

Recipe: Pistachio and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

So as it turns out, it’s HARD to dig back into baking. As much as I love baking and I feel fairly good at it, it’s never been something that I’ve been supremely confident about. I generally like to bake things that make me, or the people around me, happy. I’m a 100% self-taught baker with a dream of taking some night classes in pastry or cooking. So when I bake something 3, 4, 5, times and can’t seem to figure out the problem, it’s extremely frustrating. I just feel like I lack the tools to learn and grow.

I’ve been recipe testing these lemon shortbread cookies for weeks and can’t get them to behave correctly. And as you can clearly see, I’m not bringing your lemon shortbread cookies today at all. Because the recipe still isn’t right. But it’s sometimes in those situations when I get creative and think up sometime else to get myself out of that rut. And these cookies are BOMB. Lightly crisp around the outside and bottom, chewy and soft on the inside and filled sweet and salty bits.

So that’s what we’re making today. And maybe there will be lemon shortbread cookies down the line, but in the meantime, I’ll be shoveling these oatmeal gems into my mouth in full force.

Pistachio and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Yields 2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 2 1/2 cups oats

  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredient to the butter mixture, until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, mix in oats by hand. Once combined, add in chopped pistachios and dried cranberries and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Place rounded tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet about an inch and a half apart. Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges and bottom are golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before cooling fully on a cooling rack.