When my husband's favorite team made it to the Super Bowl in 2011, I knew I had to make a "green and gold" dessert to cheer on the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, they didn't make it this year).  Of course, I could have used food dye to make cookies or cupcakes in the right color scheme, but I wanted to find ingredients loaded with natural color instead. Japanese green tea powder (matcha) adds a ton of color to the crust, because it's made from the whole tea leaf, while passion fruit juice and egg yolks make the fruit curd seriously yellow. Even though the bars look fancy, they're really just a simple twist on lemon bars using passion fruit juice instead. You can cut them with a knife to make squares or triangles, or use a round cookie cutter to cut out football shapes instead. Either way, make these bars up to a week in advance so you can focus on potato skins and hot wings on game day without having to fuss.

Ingredients

Cocoa Crust

  • 3 1/2 Ounce powdered sugar
  • 5 1/2 Ounce all purpose flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 Ounce cocoa powder
  • 5 Ounce cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Ounce buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Crunchy Layer

  • 2 Ounce crushed cocoa nibs

Matcha Crust

  • 3 1/2 Ounce powdered sugar
  • 5 1/2 Ounce all purpose flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 Ounce matcha (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 5 Ounce cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Ounce buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Passion Fruit Curd

  • 16 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 14 Ounce sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 10 Ounce passion fruit juice
  • 2 Ounce butter

Chocolate Drizzle

  • 4 Ounce dark chocolate, melted

Preparation

Crust Layers

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9” x 13” baking pan with 3 layers of foil, each long enough to exceed the pan by a few inches. This will not only completely cover the bottom of the pan, but also provide resilient “handles” so that later you can grab the foil and lift the pastry out after it cools. Grease the foil lightly.

Step 2:

First, make the cocoa crust. Mix the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture has a fine, crumbly texture. You can do this by hand, if you like, but it takes a lot longer to cut the butter as finely with your fingers.

Step 3:

Stop the food processor and drizzle the buttermilk and vanilla over the mixture and then pulse only until incorporated, two or the times. This will result in a mixture like damp sand, which you can easily sprinkle into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. (If you pulse too much, the dough will begin to form a ball which you will have to roll out instead of sprinkle; super annoying.)

Step 4:

Sprinkle the cocoa dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan and pat it down into a single, even layer. I’ve found using a flat tool (like a metal spatula or rubber bowl scraper) will create the most perfectly flat layer, if you have a compulsive streak about you, but you can easily do this with your fingers.

Step 5:

Next, sprinkle the cocoa nibs over the cocoa crust, and pat them down lightly to secure them to the crust.

Step 6:

Now make the matcha dough just as you did with the cocoa dough. When it comes time to sprinkle the dough into the pan, just be gentle as you pat the dough down, so as not to disturb the cocoa dough beneath.

Step 7:

Carefully dock the dough with a fork and bake for 30 minutes, or until the matcha dough has just begun to gain a few golden flecks around the edges. About halfway through, check on the dough and use a spatula to deflate any areas that have begun to puff up or rise unevenly. While the dough is baking, you have just enough time to scale out and prepare the curd.

Passion Fruit Curd

Step 1:

Set a medium bowl fitted with a sieve or strainer to the side. In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks, eggs, sugar, and salt together. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan large enough to accommodate the entire mixture, bring the passion fruit juice to a boil. Temper it into the egg mixture, then transfer the warm egg mixture back to the sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 140° and then strain into the waiting bowl. Whisk in the butter.

Step 2:

Turn the oven temperature down to 325°.

Step 3:

Pour the passion fruit curd over the par-baked crust (it’s perfectly okay if the crust is piping hot from the oven; just as okay if it’s been sitting out a few minutes) and cover the pan with a sheet of foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the curd does not jiggle when you shake the pan. It will have a nice, strong set.

Step 4:

Cool to room temperature, and refrigerate at least an hour before cutting.

Step 5:

To remove the pastry from the pan, loosen the edges with a knife, and then tug gently at the foil around the edges. When you’re sure the pastry is loose, grab the foil on both sides and lift it out, transferring to a cutting board.

Step 6:

Cut into bars or as you see fit and drizzle with melted chocolate.

Step 7:

As this pastry sports the colors of the Green Bay Packers (Mr. BraveTart’s team), I cut mine into football shapes for the Super Bowl.

Step 8:

If you want to do this too, first cut the pastry with a round cutter into approximately 20 rounds. Obnoxiously, you will have to wash the cutter after each use. Once the rounds are cut, use the same cutter to cut each round into a foot ball shape, leaving a tiny crescent moon sliver behind. After you’ve finished cutting, fill a small pastry bag with melted chocolate and pipe the football lacing on top of each one.