Mmmmm – matcha green tea and sweet adzuki bean paste – a flavor combination we love add a Japanese twist to an American classic. Just the thing with piping hot green tea after a cold morning of birding.
Matcha green tea powder and adzuki beans may not be in everyone’s pantry, but they are always in ours. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that this flavor combination makes a regular appearance in our kitchen. When a friend gave me a recipe for maple bars, I couldn’t help imagining them stuffed with sweet adzuki bean paste (directions to make the paste here), and changing up the frosting recipe to include the zip of spiced matcha tea along with maple syrup. I think the original maple bar recipe somehow reminded me of cinnamon rolls. I’d made a version of cinnamon rolls where the adzuki bean paste was spiraled into a dough which in turn was infused with matcha tea powder. That was delicious! So why not tinker around with this maple bars?
Today’s recipe initially started out with my friend’s successful recipe. Her dough recipe is deliciously flavored with cinnamon. After baking, I sliced the rolls in half and spread them generously with adzuki bean paste. I did change up her maple icing and made more of a donut glaze that I then flavored with matcha green tea powder and real maple syrup. (Thank you JW for sending us some real Pennsylvania maple syrup!)
Matcha powder is used to make high quality green tea. I enjoy baking with this flavorful ingredient – adding it to breads, cookies, cakes, and even custard dishes. If you are not convinced that I really do enjoy this ingredient, just search “matcha” in the search bar on our blog and look at all the lovely recipes. 😉 I’m happy to report that both adzuki beans and matcha green tea powder are easy to procure – even in remote places like Chignik Lake, Alaska – thanks to the Internet.
Adzuki Maple Bars with Matcha Maple Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 4 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sweet adzuki bean paste
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
- Combine milk, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan.
- Stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
- Let milk mixture cool slightly. Mixture should cool to about 110 8° F, or cooler.
- Pour milk mixture into a large mixing bowl. Stir in yeast.
- Stir beaten eggs into mixture.
- Stir in flour, one cup at a time.
- The last 3/4 cup of flour will need to be kneaded in.
- Once flour is well incorporated and dough can remain in the shape of a ball, let rise in the mixing bowl for an hour covered with plastic in a warm place with no draft.
- Punch down dough and roll out to about a 1″ thickness.
- Cut dough into 16 rectangular pieces. Place bars on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 425° F. Remove plastic covering and bake bars for 8 – 10 minutes. Finished bars should be lightly browned.
- Let bars cool on wire rack for 15 minutes before icing.
- Make icing by mixing together icing ingredients and stirring until smooth.
- Cut bread bars in half, like a sandwich.
- Spread adzuki bean paste on lower half of bar.
- Take top half and dip it into matcha maple frosting.
- Place dipped top part of bread onto bottom which has been prepared with adzuki paste.
- Serve immediately or serve later the same day. Just make sure to cover them with plastic so they don’t dry out.