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

Recipe: Salty & Sweet Peanut Butter Cookies

Recently when I'm wandering around my kitchen, looking through the fridge and opening cabinets searching for something to snack on, I always wish I had cookies. This is a pretty new craving for me and cookies are not something that I usually have around the house.  But, when the need to eat cookies struck the other night, I decided it was time to see what I had lying around to bake with. These twist-on-a-classic peanut butter cookies were the result.

I have to say, peanut butter cookies always fall a little flat for me. The best thing about peanut butter is its ability to be both salty and sweet, but most pb cookies taste one dimensional and too sugary for my liking. They lack that saltiness that good peanut butter brings to the table.

So we're adding a little extra salt in the form of coarsely ground pink himalayan salt (or any type of salt grinder you have); using cake flour instead of all purpose to get a really soft, delicate texture; and baking them just until the centers are set and the edges are slightly browned. I couldn't stop eating these cookies and I hope all you salt lovers out there rejoice in happiness. 

Salty Peanut Butter Cookies

Yields 2 dozen

Adapted from this recipe

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup cake flour*
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tablespoon coarsely ground salt

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

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 crisscrossed 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. Store in an airtight container.

*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.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Popsicles

Earlier this week I heard—for the first time this year—the sweet sounds of spring. It wasn't birds chirping or kids playing outside that made me stop in my tracks and whirl around, it was the familiar jingle of the ice cream truck. 

Now, I don't know where you live or where you grew up, but my whole life I have heard the jingle of the ice cream truck. It reminds me of being a child, taking my parent's dollar and running out front of my childhood home. It reminds me of living in the city, where our street is so tiny and the truck has to drive so slowly that the jingle can be heard right outside my house for about 15 minutes most summer days. It's the sound of taking it easy, of splurging on a treat, and of summer sun.

Today we are skipping the ice cream truck and making a slightly healthier popsicle you can quickly and easily throw together at home. And who can beat the flavor combo of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate? Seriously now...

Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 8 popsicles

4 bananas
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey or agave (to taste)
1/2 cup peanut butter

Topping:
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
handful of chopped peanuts or cashews

In a blender, add peeled bananas, greek yogurt, and peanut butter and blend until smooth. Depending on how sweet your bananas are, add honey or more peanut butter based on your personal preference. Fill your popsicle molds (I have this one) 3/4 full, insert sticks, and freeze for 4–6 hours or until completely frozen.

When ready to serve, heat chocolate chips and coconut oil over a double boiler on the stove, whisking until melted. Drizzle melted chocolate over each popsicle and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Enjoy immediately or store on a wrapped plate in the freezer until ready to eat. 

Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Donuts

I thought this recipe would be helpful because if you are anything like me, you probably have a bunch of bananas finding their way to the bottom of the fruit bowl and going spotty. Maybe a little passed spotty to that place where they are too brown and soft to be enjoyable to eat, but not brown enough that you say the hell with it and throw them in the trash.

And I know everyone else will just tell you to make banana bread, but these are just so much better. Let's dive in.

Banana Donuts with Peanut Butter Drizzle

Yields 18 donuts

Donuts
2 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 stick cold butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 bananas

Glazes
4 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a donut pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until combined. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands) cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is sand-like with bits of butter throughout.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in buttermilk and vanilla and whisk until combined. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork. Add them into the bowl and using the whisk, incorporate into the buttermilk with the whisk until banana is throughout the mixture. Pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Once the donuts are fully cooled, place wax paper underneath your cooling rack and start making your glaze. Add powdered sugar and water into a saucepan and start whisking them together. The mixture will be very stiff and not come together easily. Once it is mostly combined, heat glaze over medium heat, whisking frequently. The glaze will start to come together and thin out. Remove from heat when the mixture is warm but not hot. Dip each donut into the glaze and let cool on the rack. In a separate saucepan, heat peanut butter until it's warm and pourable. Pour into a pastry bag with a small tip (or a ziplock bag with the end snipped off) and drizzle the peanut butter over the donuts. Let cool completely.

I find that because of the moisture level in the donuts, it’s best to eat these within 24 hours, or stack on a plate and wrap with plastic wrap. Keeping the donuts in an airtight container may cause them to sweat and the glaze to soften. Enjoy!

Recipe: Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

The season of jellybeans and Cadbury creme eggs is here! And though I can get down with some Starburst jellybeans, I'm really here for the Reese's peanut butter eggs. I know Reese's makes pumpkins and Christmas trees these days, but the egg shape is definitely my favorite. Why? I have no idea. It's literally just an oval of peanut butter draped in chocolate, but they're hands down my favorite ones.

So in the spirit of Reese's peanut butter eggs and indulging in all the chocolate and candy that's hanging around this time of year, I'm bringing you Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies. We aren't messing around with the frosting either. I want my brownies to be piled high with frosting so these are quite a rich treat. You could easily cut these all in half and feed 18 people and everyone would definitely be a happy camper. Or eat the whole pan yourself. I won't blame you!

Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

Yields 9 large brownies

For brownies:
1 stick butter
4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For peanut butter frosting:
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
2 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8 inch baking pan with butter and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Grease the top of the parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa until combined.

In a small heatproof bowl, heat butter and chopped baking chocolate in the microwave until melted. Add into a large mixing bowl, whisking in sugar, then eggs one at a time. Once combined, switch to a rubber spatula and add in flour mixture until batter is comes together but be care not to over mix. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with only few crumbs. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

While brownies are cooling, mix butter and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until combined and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar. Add in vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of milk. If frosting is still too thick, slowly add in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Frost cooled brownies and serve.