The Umbrella Academy (2019 -) is a television series based on the comic book series of the same name written by Gerard Way. It revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted siblings with superpowers who (initially) reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death and to try to save the world of an imminent apocalypse.
After the success of the first and second seasons, the third season is about to be released this week (of writing this post). I am a fan of both the show and the comics, so I wanted to post a recipe inspired by one of the character’s favourite snack: a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich – also known as a fluffernutter*.
In the first episode of the first season of The Umbrella Academy, one of the siblings, Number Five, a 58-year-old time-jumping assassin stuck inside the body of a young boy (it’s complicated), returns from a post-apocalyptic future after disappearing for several decades to warn his siblings about the incoming apocalypse. Earlier in the episode it is revealed that one of his siblings would leave him peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches for a while after he disappeared in case he came back in the middle of the night and was hungry. When Number Five eventually does return, the first thing he does is make a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich.
But, it’s not only peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches that ‘the boy’ consumes, other types of sweets are on the menu (as is the case for other assassins, like him, that work for the Temps Aeternalis) as well as copious amounts of black coffee and alcohol – his consciousness is 58-years-old after all. So, while French toast with peanut butter and marshmallows might seem to be somewhat of a childhood staple and a kid’s snack, I’ve added a little bit of alcohol; bourbon (Jack Daniels can be used too) to be precise, to stay true to the character of the show, which actually makes this a great, fun and decadent sandwich for grown-ups. It does not contain coffee, but you can certainly consume it alongside a nice cup of black coffee to counter its sweetness.
* Note: the name ‘fluffernutter’ derives from the fact that ‘peanutbutter and marshmallow sandwiches’, which were first created in the early 20th century in Massachusetts (USA), are usually made with marshmallow crème or Marshmallow Fluff, a spreadable marshmallow-flavoured confectionary spread. The sweet spread is commonly found in the USA, but not as common here in Europe (though, you can occasionally find it), which is why I am using melted marshmallows, which taste similar, but may have a slightly different texture. The series my sandwich is inspired by does use (not-melted) mini marshmallows rather than ‘fluff’ as well.
“We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals.” The Umbrella Academy, created by Steve Blackman, season 1, episode 1, Dark Horse Entertainment, 2019.
The Umbrella Academy inspired Boozy Fluffernutter / French Toast with Bourbon, Peanut Butter and Marshmallows
- 1 small egg
- 100ml whole milk
- ½ tablespoon maple- or golden syrup, or granulated sugar
- 60ml bourbon, or Jack Daniels
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 4 thick slices brioche-, or white sandwich bread
- 30g butter
- peanut butter, to tase
- 2 handfuls mini marshmallows
MethodPrep: if you are not using a culinary torch during step 6 of this recipe, remember to preheat the broiler/grill in your oven.
- Whisk together the egg, milk, sweetener of choice, salt, cinnamon and half of the bourbon or Jack Daniels.
- Place mini marshmallows in a separate bowl and drizzle over the remaining alcohol. Stir to combine and allow marshmallows to soak up the booze for a few minutes (not too long, or they might disintegrate).
- Melt the butter (or half, when working in batches) in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Dip bread slices into the eggy-milk mixture and allow to soak for 20 - 30 seconds, then transfer to the hot pan and fry on both sides until nice and golden. When working in batches, only soak the second batch of bread right before adding it to the pan to avoid them from becoming too soggy.
- Once the French toasts are golden on both sides, remove from pan onto a plate and spread on peanut butter.
- Divide boozy marshmallows over the peanut buttered toasts (keep the residual juices, if there are any: you can pour them over the toasts before serving) and brown/char slightly with a culinary torch*. Alternatively, use the broiler option on your oven for a minute or two to melt/toast the marshmallows until slightly golden.
- Serve as open sandwiches, or as closed sandwiches with the ‘toppings’ as filling. Before serving drizzle the residual liquid (or some extra bourbon) from soaking the marshmallows over the toast, if there is any.