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
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
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)
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.