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Sweet and salty peanut butter bars swirled with gooey marshmallow creme.
It’s officially unofficially summer! I was at a housewarming party last weekend that was held completely outside. Although it was a bit chilly when the sun was hiding, it was such a great kickoff to the summer season of picnics, BBQs, and lots of celebrations.
You might have seen my Instagram post about how I spent my Friday night before the housewarming party. I baked a LOT. Nothing out of the ordinary in our house, really! I made three types of desserts to take with me to the party: these fluffernutter bars, blueberry lemon pie bars, and key lime pie bars.
While all three desserts were a hit, I think the fluffernutter were my favorite, simply because anything with peanut butter = I’ll eat it. So I decided to change a couple things, bake up a batch, and make it available for you to add to your summer party repertoire.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think I had a fluffernutter sandwich until I was an adult, so I can’t say the combination brings back any childhood memories for me. I can say, however, that I can’t believe I never thought about turning the flavor combination into a dessert!
I had some leftover marshmallows from making s’mores with my homemade graham crackers, so I perused Google for something I could do with them. I came across a recipe that sounded good, so I went for it, but I wasn’t blown away.
I made a second batch, changing up a few things, and it got better. It wasn’t until I actually had a dream about this recipe (yes, that’s my reality) that I knew exactly what I needed to do to make these worth sharing with my readers.
These bars are peanut butter and marshmallow heaven– chewy, buttery, and seriously melt-in-your-mouth delicious. This is the second recipe in which I’ve used dark brown sugar as the main sweetener, and I have to say, I think I’m a sucker for it.
Dark brown sugar, with its high molasses content, adds an incredible chew to baked goods. This recipe uses a little bit of granulated white sugar as well to balance the richness of the dark brown and the saltiness of the peanut butter.
The swirls of marshmallow melt in the oven, so they blend in really nicely on the inside of the bar while also staying gooey on the top.
You’re going to blend everything but the flour, peanut butter chips, and marshmallow creme at first. Yes, there is a ton of peanut butter in these. I used almost the entire jar of my Skippy!
There will be just enough leftover for you to eat on whatever it is you like your peanut butter on… I prefer a spoon, or better yet, peanut butter fingers (FRIENDS, anyone?).
You’ll end up with a pretty sticky dough, and once you add the flour, the consistency reminds me of the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
So really, we are off to a great start.
Once the peanut butter chips are added in, the marshmallow creme gets spooned in and barely mixed so that it stays in dollops. For this step, I actually used my spatula to “cut” into the batter and turn the dough carefully so as not to mix the creme in too much.
Once everything is mixed, press the dough into your pan with your hands and dress up the top. This is where you can get creative! I added a few peanut butter chips (upside-down so the bars are smooth!) and torn up mini-marshmallows directly into the top of the dough.
I pressed them in and then evened out the dough with my hands so everything would bake evenly. Feel free to use whole mini-marshmallows, just be aware, you’ll have to “deflate” them once they’re done baking, otherwise they will just be large and puffy and sitting on top of your baked bars.
Just 22-24 minutes in the oven and these are almost ready to devour. They’ll have to cool completely before you cut them, so do what we did and go for a swim while you wait… Otherwise, you’ll just want peanut butter and marshmallow all up in your mouth before it’s quite ready!
My suggested bake time is perfect for me, but you be the judge of how you want these to turn out. Mine are chewy and almost under-done, so the longer you bake them, the more cookie-like they’ll be and the melty-er (technical terms here, folks) your marshmallow creme has the potential to be.
When I inserted my tester, it came out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs on it. For me: perfect.
Make these for your next party and you’ll be the fluffernutter star of the show! And of course, report back on how much you love them!
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar lightly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips + more for topping
- 6 Tablespoons marshmallow creme
- mini-marshmallows for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8″ x 8″ pan with foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, combine cooled butter, eggs, peanut butter, and sugars. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Fold in peanut butter chips.
- Spoon in marshmallow creme and use a spatula to “cut” creme into dough, being careful not to over-mix so the creme stays in dollops.
- Pour dough into prepared pan and smooth out with your hands. Add peanut butter chips and torn mini-marshmallows to the top, making sure to smooth out dough again when you are finished.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes. Bars are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into 16 squares with a very sharp knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.
Check out more of my bars and squares perfect for picnics!