Mise en place.
N had linked to this recipe for Matcha Swirl Brownies on her blog, and it was a perfect opportunity to use the canister of matcha powder my mom gave me a while back. This recipe is a variation of "zebra" or cream cheese swirl brownies - I can never pass these up at work when we get lunch meetings catered by Corner Bakery, haha. I used Dark Chocolate brownie mix, thinking it would be a nice contrast with the green tea flavor. One note about matcha powder- make sure you are getting actual ground up matcha powder- you do not want to just dump in a green tea bag with whole leaves in it, it will NOT turn out well, trust me. Matcha powder can be a little pricey depending on the brand/availability near you, but it's a great item to keep on hand- I've made green tea ice cream before using the same powder, which turned out delicious. This quick-dissolving type that I have also works for making regular matcha tea to drink as well.
The recipe is super easy- just make sure you leave the cream cheese out at room temperature for a while (I left mine out for about 45 minutes while going to the gym), so that it is easy to mix with the other ingredients. Believe me, when you are trying to whisk the cream cheese, sugar, egg, etc. together, it helps a lot for the cream cheese to not be so chunky and solid.
Need to work on my swirling.
As you can see in the photo above, I think I saved too much of the brownie mix to drop on top - almost all of the green tea mixture was covered up by the time it finished baking! To add to that, I misread the "swirling" portion and just sorta went nutso on the knife action, so I didn't get the pretty V shape swirls that you normally see on this type of brownie.
Corner piece, yummm.
But, once you cut into the brownie, it's alllllllllll good. As you can see there's a clear layer of the matcha cream cheese right through the center of each piece. It is v. pretty to look at, a nice variation of a regular brownie. Taste-wise, I thought these were aweeeeeeeeeesome. It's a win-win really: If you like green tea flavors, you'll love these for the hints of matcha in here. If you don't love green tea flavors, there's not enough of it to overpower the brownie-ness of it, haha. I've made these twice now and I'll definitely make them again - if only I had a (free) unlimited supply of matcha powder to use, haha.