As sandwiches go, the Fluffernutter never really did much for me as a kid. I love peanut butter in so many ways, but it always seemed to taint the billowy, sticky sweet wonderfulness of the Fluff.
So I was more prone to eating Fluff the way it was intended to be consumed — by the spoonful. Directly from the container. Ideally while standing. If you prefer to sit, I'll try not to think less of you.
As I've aged, my tastes have matured. I've acknowledged that marshmallow spread can be enjoyed between slices of bread, though I still don't care to sully it with peanut butter. And for the most intense experience, I prefer to make my own Fluff-like spread.
Still, minus the peanut butter this really does dissolve into a gussied up sugar sandwich. So to lessen the guilt, I doctor it with chocolate-hazelnut spread. Because surely there is some protein in there, right?
Even thus doctored, there's still nothing wrong with eating it by the spoonful. While standing.
DIY NUTELLA-MARSHMALLOW SPREAD
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes 4 cups
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup or honey
3 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Half of a 13-ounce jar of Nutella
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, sugar and corn syrup (or honey). Stir gently to combine. Insert a candy thermometer and heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240 F.
Meanwhile, when the sugar syrup begins to form large bubbles, and the thermometer reads about 225 F to 230 F, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat the whites to soft peaks. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes.
By the time the whites are whipped, the sugar syrup should be at 240 F. Remove from the heat and with the mixer running, carefully pour the syrup in a thin, steady stream into the whites. The whites will deflate slightly at first, but as the sugar syrup becomes incorporated, they will thicken, turn white and begin to fluff up.
Continue to whip the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes, or until very thick and glossy. Add the vanilla and whip for another minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer, then fold in the Nutella until mixed, but not blended. Transfer to an airtight container. The spread can be stored at room temperature for 2 weeks.
Nutrition information per 1/4 cup serving: 140 calories; 30 calories from fat (21 per cent of total calories); 3.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 17 g sugar; 1 g protein; 25 mg sodium.
(Recipe adapted from the King Arthur Flour Co.)