Welcome to Matcha Mondays here at Thirsty for Tea!
I’ve finally given into my obsession with matcha. Inspired with so many ideas for using my favorite green tea powder, I realized that dedicating Mondays to my matcha related posts is best way for me to celebrate this very special ingredient. After all, a boost of vibrance and some caffeinated pep could only make your Mondays that much better, right?
***Easy Brew Tip for a Frothy cup of Matcha: In a jam jar, add 1/2 – 1 tsp of matcha powder, then add 1 cup of water @ 175 degrees F. Screw the lid on the jar tightly, and shake for 1-2 minutes like a bartender… your tea will be unbelievably frothy! Truth be told, this is much more effective than using a matcha whisk, but you should still get one because they are just so unique and beautiful!
Just last weekend, my husband and I visited a Thai restaurant by my parents house in Rowland Heights called Coconut Bay. Paying for our bill on the way out, I saw the most delightful box of cookies peeping out just in front of the register…Matcha Cream Pocky! Despite that it was double the price of its chocolate and strawberry counterparts, they instantly became a must-try, must-buy item. You simply cannot be a tea-obsessed blogger and not report back on green tea flavored Pocky!
Inspired by my love and memories of Pocky as a child, I got to work on my Homemade Chocolate Pocky and Homemade Strawberry Pocky posts last week. I decided to post this Green Tea Pocky recipe as the last of my 3 part Pocky series because now that we’ve covered the basics we can get a bit more adventurous!
To make Homemade Matcha Pocky, you want to start with the best-quality matcha you can find. Being able to control the quality of the ingredients you are working with is what makes these biscuits worth making (and eating!) at home. From the Pocky boxes pictured above, you can see that both the strawberry and matcha varieties are artificially flavored. Using powdered freeze-dried strawberries (for Homemade Strawberry Pocky) and a brilliant natural matcha (for Homemade Green Tea Pocky), we get the most wholesome flavor and beautiful coloring in our stick biscuits. There’s simply no need for the fake stuff here.
Black sesame and coconut are the toppings I used for my Homemade Green Tea Pocky. The savory and slightly roasted taste of black sesame seeds cut through the sweetness of the white chocolate for a well-rounded, umami-inspired bite.
I also chose unsweetened, desiccated coconut to decorate with. Dried coconut gives a tropical touch to the stick cookies, and a light and fluffy looking finish. Try not to use regular sweetened shredded coconut here, as the combination will be way too sweet.
A pairing that will probably make you think twice is what I call my “Yin Yang Pocky.” If you’ve ever visited modern Chinese tea shops (the ones with boba milk tea) you might be familiar with Yuanyang, also known as Hong Kong Style Coffee-Tea. This drink is mostly tea with a bit of coffee added in for a boost in flavor and caffeine.
Not as harsh as coffee and not as mild as tea, this Yuanyang blend strikes the perfect balance between Yin (here, the stronger and darker coffee) and Yang (the lighter and brighter tea). For my Yin Yang Pocky, I sprinkled gourmet coffee vermicelli sprinkles atop my tea infused biscuit sticks. These are exceptionally delicious if you love the taste of Yuanyang!
Ok, I think it’s time for me to go on a bit of a Pocky hiatus now. For you Pocky lovers out there, I hope you’ve had a good time reading my last 3 posts! Pocky are really the quintessential Asian tea cookie, so nibble away at these lovely biscuits while slowly sipping your favorite brew (might I suggest a thick, hot cup of frothy matcha?). Keep that happy buzz going until the next Matcha Monday!
Homemade Green Tea Pocky
Makes about 20 stick cookies.
12 oz package of vanilla candy melts or 11 oz bag white chocolate chips
1 Tbsp matcha powder
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 package of grissini, cut into 5″ pieces with serrated knife to make 20 sticks
matcha powder for dusting
unsweetened, desiccated coconut flakes
black sesame seeds
coffee sprinkles (I used Cacao Barry Coffee Vermicelli)
large baking sheet fitted with parchment paper
small baking sheet or plate fitted with parchment paper
tall, narrow drinking glass, at least 6″ tall
Step-by-step photos of the dipping process are in my Homemade Chocolate Pocky post!
1. Fill bottom of double boiler with water, making sure the water doesn’t make contact with the base of the top bowl of the double boiler. Bring water to a gentle simmer (bring water to boil, then reduce to very low heat). Place white chocolate or candy melts in top bowl of double boiler. Using rubber spatula, gently melt the chocolate. In a small bowl, mix matcha powder with 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Add this matcha oil/paste to the melting white chocolate and mix in until you get an evenly green colored dipping chocolate. If you are using white chocolate (not candy coating) you may need to mix in another 1-2 tsp of oil to get a nice dipping consistency. Remove the bowl of chocolate from heat, and wipe steam off the outside of the bowl with a tea towel.
2. Carefully pour the melted chocolate into the drinking glass to a height of 4″.
3. Dip the cut grissini into the melted chocolate leaving the top 1″ undipped. As you get further along in dipping, you may need to tilt the glass to distribute the chocolate upwards so that you are able to cover all 4″ of each grissini with the chocolate. Gently shake off any excess chocolate, then place the dipped cookie on the small baking sheet or plate fitted with parchment. Let the Pocky stick sit here for about a minute to allow any excess chocolate to pool onto the parchment/paper plate.
4. Transfer the stick to the large parchment lined baking sheet to fully dry. Repeat the dipping process with the remaining grissini. If you use white chocolate, the Pocky take about 1 hour to fully dry/harden. If you use candy melts, they will take about 20 minutes to dry. In a pinch, you can place the dipped cookies in the fridge to speed up the drying process. Homemade Pocky are best eaten within a day or two, as the bread sticks tend to soften with time.
Variation: Generously or lightly scatter desiccated coconut, black sesame seeds, or coffee sprinkles on the dipped Pocky before transferring the cookie sticks to the large parchment lined baking sheet to dry. Alternatively, you can sift a light dusting of matcha powder atop the drying cookies. The residual heat of the chocolate will help the the matcha to bloom and intensify in color.