Fluff Me, Stuff Me
Remember that iconic jar with the blue and white label, the one on the container that held (and still holds on grocery shelves across the U.S.) that sweet, sticky, gooey glop known as Marshmallow FLUFF? Until I visited Koppa’s (rhymes with “cop” not “cope”) Fulbelli Deli on Farwell the other day, I’d almost forgotten about the magic stuff. More on that in a moment.
On the store’s windows fronting Farwell is an impressive array of signs detailing “Depression Era Prices! 99 cents.” For less than a dollar, you can have either a Whoopie Pie or a Fluffernutter sandwich, made on the premises no less. I had to check it out.
I love this store, replete with stuffed animals (is that a coyote up there?), bodiless styrofoam heads in kinky masks and odder-than-odd signage. It’s the exact opposite of Whole Foods, where I used to go to buy things I didn’t need. Anyway, Koppa’s is a family business and I’m sticking with local. Does it really matter that I don’t have dozens of cereals from which to choose? I always buy Shredded Wheat. And I can live without a kiwi, can’t I?
Last week Sarah (she of winning the WMSE Chili Cook-off fame), made me a Fluffernutter sandwich. Two slabs of cheapo white Sunbeam bread, a smoosh of marshmallow fluff and a smear of peanut butter slapped together, and for 99 cents I’m good to go. The squishy thing I carry out in a white bag is mostly sugar, which is to say the fluff is corn syrup, sugar syrup, egg whites and vanilla.
Trivia: The Fluffernutter was invented in Massachusetts at the beginning of the 20th century, and back in 2006 a svelte but misguided State Senator proposed an amendment to a bill, one that would limit junk food in schools, i.e., a restriction on the number of weekly servings of Fluffernutter sandwiches. He was laughed into submission, and was lucky he wasn’t coated in Fluff and sent packing!
So let’s talk Whoopies, baked personally by Miss Emily Mowrer, using her mom’s secret recipe, but, well, okay, it’s not so secret now that it’s here written. For starters, a Whoopie is a round, fat, chocolaty cake resembling a hockey puck, but not to be confused with a cow pie. Since I quit smoking a few months back, I’m bent on eating the world, and standing in front of the Whoopie display makes my day. Makes my day.
Comes now, the secret recipe for the aforementioned Whoopies, reprinted with permission, naturally. Note: If you’re making these, be sure and buy the ingredients at Koppa’s.
Emily’s Mom’s Whoopie Pies
- 1 pkg. Devil’s Food cake mix
- 1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
- ½ c. butter
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. water
- 1 ½ sticks softened butter
- 1 c. fluff
- 3/4 c. powdered sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
Combine filling ingredients well, which is to say, beat to a fare-thee-well. The finished product resembles a giant Oreo. Set aside.
Mix cake ingredients together and beat until light and thick. Drop batter, one tsp. at a time (2” apart) on greased baking sheets. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Cool wee cakes. Spread one with tasty filling and top with another. Enjoy with friends or stand over the counter and eat them all yourself. Makes about a dozen.
Compared to the Whoopie’s logistics, the Fluffernutter sandwich is a snap. Take two slices of cheapo white bread (Koppa’s offers Sunbeam), a slather of creamy peanut butter (Jif is especially sweet) and a big fat smoosh of Fluff. Slapped together, it’s good to go. Oh yeah, you can have it toasted, but I like the puff of untrammeled white bread. Note: Elvis fans might prefer a few banana slices, but hey, Koppa’s has another ‘wich devoted to Elvis, just so you know.
I don’t see how the store is making a profit on the 99-cent Whoopie, but my best guess is they figure folks will do all of their shopping in the store if they’re lured in with such treats as bait. Personally, it’s the coyote that turns me on. Did I mention that Patti Burger, across the street, has folded up their spatulas and fled?
No offense to chickens. Growing up, I was fattened on depression-era meals, where there was no such thing as a bad egg. We had ‘em creamed, fried, hardboiled, scrambled and coddled, the reason being that my physician dad frequently traded his services for local foodstuff, and nothing was more local than the egg, which we alternated with chicken every Sunday. Adjacent to our small kitchen was a small pantry where I could frequently be found testing tablespoons of Skippy peanut butter, so perhaps my attraction to Fluffernutter stuff originated in that very space. God bless America.
A very early issue (1912) of my old hometown newspaper in Iowa has a recipe for “Sparrows On Toast.” I’m not kidding, you can look it up. Said to be a sneaky means of ridding Iowa of sparrows, it perhaps did alleviate said flocks, as you can bet it took a heap of chirpers to satisfy Iowa appetites.
In 2006, Brigham’s devised a Fluffernutter ice cream. Why is it we Americans always beat everything to death? I’m sticking with the one and only Whoopies and Fluffernutters (in my world, anyway), assembled by the skilled and loving hands of the deli technicians at Koppa’s.
99 cents. Depression era prices. Stick it to me.