Wednesday, November 11, 2009


When I was younger, and still of age to have my maman pack my lunch in my pink sticker-decorated lunchbox, I was often a little frustrated. The kids at my lunch table had Lunchables, Fruit Roll-Ups and Capri Sun. Me? I had fresh veggies, Juicy Juice berry juices, and "fruit leather". You know what I'm talking about: strips made of 100% fruit, in 20 kinds of different flavors.

Who had the best lunch? Well, I guess that depends on the person you ask. Like girls who have straight hair wanting it to be curly and vice versa, I wanted what I couldn't have. This may be hard to believe, but I was longing to dig into a bag of Fritos instead of carrots and homemade yogurt dip. Sure, now that I look back, I'm pretty sure my kids will be eating the same thing for lunch--and last year in New York, fruit leather was my snack of choice. But back then, all I wanted was artifical coloring and high fructose corn syrup.

My maman didn't give in--she went the sly way. It would have been too easy to just say no, and leave me with a strange fantasy of living in a world of junk food. But she said yes. Yes, I could try Lunchables once, and even pick my "type". I could try Fruit Roll-Ups, and I could even try Capri Sun. I picked the pizza Lunchables because it looked cool--who would say no to the prospect of making their own pizza for lunch? That was without considering that it was more like making an uncooked pizza on cardboard bread. The Lunchables version of a pizza consists of "bread", tomato sauce and cheese that you just pile on top of one another and eat. Strange way to see it, to say the least. You could say that after that episode, Lunchables were no longer my ideal lunch. Fruit Roll-Ups? They stick to your teeth even more than fruit leather, and don't taste like anything. Plus, those dollar signs you're supposed to be able to cut out always tear and never look like anything cool. And don't get me started on Capri Sun. Between that and Sunny Delight, I don't really know which one makes me want to run and down 5 glasses of water to take the taste away. I tried, and I went back to my trusty good-for-you lunches.

One thing I never tried, however, was the Fluffernutter. I actually didn't know such a thing existed before reading about it a few weeks ago. Marshmallow Fluff, peanut butter and bread--it sounded strange, but I was intrigued. I had marshmallow creme (creme? cream? I've seen 'creme' in some US articles too) left over from my fudge, and had some peanut butter on hand. I had no bread, but something even better...pretzels. Needless to say, I had a junk food revelation a few days ago--fluffernutter pretzels are my new guilty snack.

Staying on my fluffernutter bender, I was planning on baking some brownies for a group work session for school, and wanted to customize them a little. My "aha!" moment came when I realized marshmallow fluff + peanut butter + brownies was a possibility, and that these brownies were a must try. I started out with a classic recipe from America's Test Kitchen, and added some peanut butter and marshmallow cream that I swirled into the batter with a knife. Unfortunately, the marshmallow that stayed on the top of the brownie decided to go campfire on me and started to burn for some reason... But I pulled them out right before they were burnt burnt, and they had that bonfire taste that was pretty enjoyable.

I won't be asking for a fluffernutter version of Lunchables anytime soon, but these brownies do the trick. Plus, they're homemade, which makes it perfect: giving the feeling of junk food in a not-so-junky snack.

Fluffernutter Brownies
Makes approx. 16 brownies

8 TB butter
3 oz (approx 90g) bittersweet chocolate
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 TS baking powder
1/4 TS salt
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 TS vanilla extract
several spoonfulls peanut butter & marshmallow cream

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line an 8-in square baking pan with a foil sling.

Melt butter and chocolate together in a double boiler, and let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add melted chocolate mixture until combined, and stir in dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Scrape batter into pan, and drop peanut butter and marshmallow fluff in small dollops. Run a butter knife through the batter to create swirls.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 27 to 30 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking.

Let brownies cool completely before cutting into squares.
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K8teebug said...

Do you remember Grandpa eating fluffernutter crackers? Ryan didn't either.

I am going to try these brownies! They look delicious!

Anonymous said...

there is nothing like REAL food!!!