The slight bitterness of matcha, the Japanese green tea, makes the flavor of the white chocolate in these bars seem more complex. We like the toasted coconut in the cookie base, too.
In testing, we found matcha that was not exactly powdered, but finely ground, and it created little green specks in the white chocolate (as well as coloring the chocolate a pale green). We ran it through a spice grinder to reduce it further to a powder. You’ll use the same amount — finely ground or powdered — either way.
Make Ahead: The unadorned bars can be baked up to 2 days in advance. The coated bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Servings 24 bars
Tested size: 24 bars
- For the bars
- 1 1/2 cups (about 5 3/5 ounces) unsweetened flaked coconut
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 10 ounces mini marshmallows (1 bag)
- 4 1/2 cups crispy brown rice cereal (from one 10-ounce box)
- For the coating
- 12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons matcha tea (see headnote)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped freeze-dried strawberries, for garnish (from one 1.2-ounce bag)
For the bars: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Spread the coconut in a 9-by-13-inch pan; toast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Let cool.
Melt the butter in a deep saucepan over medium heat; cook for about 3 minutes once the solids start to brown, stirring as needed. Add the marshmallows and stir until they have melted, reducing the heat as needed so they don’t scorch on the bottom of the pan.
Add the toasted coconut and cereal; stir quickly and vigorously to coat evenly and thoroughly. Transfer to the same 9-by-13-inch pan you used for toasting the coconut. Grease your hands with a little cooking oil spray, then press in and pack the cereal mixture in an even layer. Let it set for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the coating: Combine the white chocolate, coconut oil and salt in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan with a few inches of barely bubbling water (over medium-low heat), stirring once the mixture begins to melt. Stir in the matcha until evenly incorporated; remove from the heat.
When ready to assemble, line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cereal-bar slab, then invert onto a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to trim 1/2 inch off each edge, then cut the slab into 24 equal bars (about 1 inch wide and about 4 inches long).
Working with one at a time, dip one end of each bar halfway into the matcha coating, then place it on the lined sheet and immediately sprinkle some of the freeze-dried strawberry bits on top. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the coating has just set — but no longer, or the bars will lose their crispness.
Calories per piece (using 10 ounces of the coating): 190
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 11g 17%
Saturated Fat: 8g 40%
Cholesterol: 10mg 3%
Sodium: 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates: 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%