This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus® issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape.
Fluffernutter sandwiches are not nostalgic for me. In fact, I can't recall ever having eaten Marshmallow Fluff as a child. I don't crave that unique combination of peanut butter and marshmallow because it brings back great memories. I actually think the idea of a sandwich with just those two sticky ingredients oozing out the middle sounds kind of gross.
Fluffernutter cookies from Fluff Bake Bar will no doubt become a wonderful memory should I ever leave Houston, though. I'm mildly addicted to Rebecca Masson's crunchy, chewy, peanut buttery cookies with peanut butter frosting and real Marshmallow Fluff in the middle.
And yes, it is genuine Marshmallow Fluff. Masson is quick to point out that she orders the real stuff online from marshmallowfluff.com. Why meddle with perfection?
I stopped by Masson's station at the Kraftsmen Bakery recently to see what goes into a Fluffernutter. Unfortunately, all I was able to do was watch Masson scoop out dough onto a baking sheet and put the cookies into the oven. The exact ingredients and even what happens to the cookies after they come out of the oven is top secret. But I don't blame Masson for keeping her process on the DL. These cookies are too good to share.
The cookies that make up the bread of the fluffernutter are a combination of crunchy peanut butter and oatmeal. They achieve the ideal consistency in the oven--crunchy and lightly browned on the outside while still chewy on the inside. For the record, Masson's snickerdoodle cookies have the same perfect consistency.
Bewteen the cookies is peanut butter frosting, squeezed out of an icing bag into the shape of a circle around the edges of the cookie. In the center is a dollop of that inimitable Marshmallow Fluff. Then the top cookie goes on, and the delicacies set in the fridge until they're ready to be sold and devoured.
I think what makes them so great is that they aren't overly sweet. The peanut butter adds a good deal of salt, and the oatmeal makes the cookies reminiscent of a granola bar. I won't go so far as to say they're healthy, but, you know, they're probably better for you than a brownie. Maybe.
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SHOW ME HOW
I have one final recommendation regarding Fluffernutter cookies: Freeze them. You know how Girl Scout cookies are better frozen? These are too. They're almost like ice cream sandwiches, and they feel more substantial. You really have to bite through the fluff, and it doesn't ooze or drip when it's frozen.
So take my word for it. Buy Fluffernutters at one of these locations. Freeze. Devour.
See the full list of favorites on the next page.
The list so far: No. 24: Som Tam at Vieng Thai No. 25: Chips and Queso at Fusion Taco No. 26: Spicy Miso Ramen at Soma Sushi No. 27: Kim Cheese Fries at Coreanos No. 28: Fried Cauliflower at Roost No. 29: Caesar Wedge Salad at Provisions No. 30: Ice Cream in a Waffle Cone at Fat Cat Creamery No. 31: Cochito con Mole Xico at Hugo's No. 32: Carnitas at Molina's Cantina No. 33: Taleggio Pizza at Dolce Vita No. 34: Chiles de Padron Asados at Caracol No. 35: Morning Thali at Pondicheri No. 36: Fried Mini Fish at House of Bowls No. 37: Trompo Tacos at Taqueria La Macro No. 38: Spicy Tamale Plate at La Mexicana No. 39: Mum's Chicken Curry At The Queen Vic Pub No. 40: Canestri alla Funghi at Paulie's No. 41: Biscuit with Marmalade and Crème Fraîche at Blacksmith No. 42: Fried Oyster Po'Boy at Goode Company Seafood No. 43: Roasted Duck Red Curry at Morningside Thai No. 44: BBQ Pulled Wild Boar Sandwich at Sammy's Wild Game Grill No. 45: Guanciale Burger at Plonk No. 46: Parma 600 Pizza at Pizzeria Solario No. 47: CFC Deviled Eggs at Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar No. 48: The El Real Burger at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe No. 49: Custard Sandwich at Petite Sweets No. 50: Black Pepper Beer Lobster at Hai Cang Seafood Restaurant No. 51: Red Dragon Roll at Michiru Sushi No. 52: Fried Bananas Foster at Custom Confections No. 53: Bánh Canh Hue at Simply Pho No. 54: Kimchi Koagie at Koagie Hots No. 55: The Juicy Lucy Burger at Lowbrow No. 56: Eggplant Fries at Batanga No. 57: Macarons at Ganache Dessert Bar No. 58: Grilled Cheese at The Golden Grill No. 59: Baklava French Toast at Harry's Restaurant & Cafe No. 60: Patata e Funghi Pizza at Pizaro's No. 61: Old Fashioned Frito Pie at Armadillo Palace No. 62: Korean Spiced Brisket Plate at Revival Market No. 63: Bánh Mì at Les Givral's Sandwich and Cafe No. 64: Squirrel Master Burger at Cottonwood No. 65: Shorty Mac at H-Town StrEATS No. 66: Enchiladas de Mole at La Guadalupana No. 67: Bad Ass Hambur-Torta at Pistolero's No. 68: Green "Hurry Curry" at Nit Noi No. 69: Dozen Raw Oysters at Pappas Seafood No 70: Banana Split at Cloud 10 Creamery No. 71: Lazy Lane Frites at Brasserie 19 No. 72: Chicken Pot Pie at Kenny & Ziggy's No. 73: Chili Cheese Mac from Jus' Mac No. 74: Taco al Pastor at Taco Keto No. 75: 'Date With a Pig' at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop No. 76: The Heights Burger at Gratifi No. 77: Lamb Lollipops at Américas No. 78: Mortadella Sandwich at 13 Celsius No. 79: Carnissima Pizza at Coppa Osteria No. 80: The Marie Laveau Sandwich at Sandy Witch No. 81: Catfish and Grits at The Breakfast Klub No. 82: Grilled Ahi Tuna at St. John's Fire No. 83: Lobster Roll at Maine-ly Sandwiches No. 84: Greek Burger at Hubcap Grill No. 85: Pork Tamales at Irma's No. 86: Ham, Egg & Cheese Crepe at Melange Creperie No. 87: Crab Daddy Bao at Fat Bao No. 88: Sesame Soft Balls at Golden Dim Sum No. 89: Porchetta e Fagioli at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 90: Uncle Daryl's Cake at The Chocolate Bar No. 91: Lobster Cake Benedict at Sorrel Urban Bistro No. 92: Homeroom at Bernie's Burger Bus No. 93: Vuelve a la Vida Soup at Connie's Seafood No. 94: Foie Gras Mac & Cheese at BRC Gastropub No. 95: Sweet Potato Gnocchi at Brooklyn Athletic Club No. 96: Chicken and Waffles at Adair Kitchen No. 97: Soft Pretzel from Mongoose Versus Cobra No. 98: Bulgogi Tacos with Kimchi at Chi'Lantro No. 99: Almond Croissant at Phoenicia No. 100: Bangkok Fries at Boheme