Bird’s Nest Tea Bombs

A few days ago, outside my living room window, I noticed a bird tucking in and out of the crevice between the misaligned wooden fence panels surrounding our house. The bird seemed busy at work–occupied. Amidst its constant activity, it managed to shoot me an occasional glare, so as to say back off lady, or you’ll regret it! It wasn’t until I saw the same bird again two days later that I realized what it was up to. Just in time to mark the beginning of spring, my feathery friend was building a nest.

I get it, birdie. There’s a lot of work that goes into nest-making. As I learned a few days ago making these Bird’s Nest Tea Bombs, making a sturdy nest is a labor of love…an art form, really. My tea nests are made from maple syrup marshmallows covered in tea leaves. Although they look like you’ve just spotted them in a thick woodland forest, they serve an entirely different purpose. They’re designed to be an all-in-one tea brew, sweetener, and treat.
This project for Bird’s Nest Tea Bombs was inspired by 2 things: my sister and some very beautiful tea. On last week’s Tea of the Week post, I featured Bellocq Tea Atelier’s No. 22 National Parks Dept. This nature-inspired blend of Darjeeling and Assam has bright green cedar tips and twiggy kukicha (twig tea) thrown in. It’s so perfectly organic and rustic that I still can’t get over how delicious it is.

As an Easter gift (and because she’s a cool gal with great taste), my sister Melissa sent me some dark chocolate blue robin candy eggs from a fantastically elegant candy shop in Beverly Hills called Sugarfina. These delightful candies and a tin of gorgeous tea married to make this whimsical confectionary DIY. Here, a small blob of marshmallow holds about 2 teaspoons of loose tea together, just the right amount for small teapot brew. Although you can use any marshmallow recipe to make these, I like to use a maple syrup base because it enhances the natural, mild sweetness of my steep. You can even make the marshmallows separately to snack on.

More than anything, these tea marshmallows are ornamental, so don’t expect a lot of sweetness when they dissolve in your brew. Use any twig or flower based tea to make these Bird’s Nest Tea Bombs–a mix with colorful visual interest is ideal. Above all, just remember to enjoy the candy eggs before dropping the nests into the hot water. Happy springtime brewing my friends!Bird’s Nest Tea Bombs

Makes 12 small tea nests. Each nest makes 2 cups of tea.

Ingredients:

2 tsp gelatin

2 Tbsp water

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

12 small egg candies

1/2 cup twiggy loose leaf tea (I used Bellocq’s National Parks Dept.)

Equipment:

large mixing bowl

medium pot

wooden spoon

candy thermometer

hand-held mixer with whisk attachment

lightly oiled rubber spatula

large piping bag with 1/2″ round piping tip (or just cut tip)

mini muffin tin

Directions:

1.)  In a large heat proof mixing bowl, bloom the gelatin in the water. Set aside.

2.)  Place the maple syrup and cream of tartar in a medium pot, mix with the wooden spoon, then place on low-medium heat until the mixture hits 250 degrees F. Use the candy thermometer and be careful to watch the mixture so that the syrup doesn’t boil over.

3.)  Meanwhile, place 1 rounded tsp of loose leaf tea in each of 12 mini muffin pan cavities.

4.)  When the maple syrup comes up to temperature, take it off the heat then gradually pour it into the bloomed gelatin. Use a hand-held mixer to whip the mixture until you get stiff peaks. Use an oiled spatula to transfer the marshmallow fluff to a large piping bag with a 1/2″ open tip for piping.

5.)  Pipe small dollops of marshmallow fluff into each tea-filled mini muffin pan cavity. Attach a candy egg in the middle of each dollop, then top the marshmallows with extra loose leaf tea to create finished nests. Each nest is enough to brew 1 small teapot of tea (2 cup capacity). Simply eat the egg candy, then throw the nest into hot water to brew.

Dragon Fruit Blueberry Tea Gummies

The first time I discovered tea flavored gummies I was at Surfas, a true chef’s paradise and my favorite culinary store in Los Angeles. I found myself moseying through the glorious candy aisle, when bam!, there they were: blackberry hibiscus gummy bearstotally over-priced but quite possibly the cleverest tea & food invention around.

Since that first bag of tea gummy bears, I’ve taken to the kitchen several times to experiment with tea gummy recipes. With the weather heating up this week, I was inspired to make a tropical version of these treats using Tea of the People’s Blueberry x Dragon Fruit Dragon Well Green Tea. This vibrant Lung Ching blend is sweet, tangy, and packed with exotic fruit flavor. You can literally taste the antioxidants and vitamins in the brew, which takes on the most gorgeous shade of ruby-red after a few short minutes of steeping.

My best secret for flavor-packed tea gummies is to steep the tea in juice instead of water. Drop for drop, the candy base will pack equally concentrated tea and fruit flavor. An overnight, cold steep in the fridge produces a brew that’s pure in taste and not cloudy.

I have to admit that I find the shape of dragon fruits to be quite puzzling…attractive, yet rather odd. Dragon fruits actually come from cactus plants. In taste and texture, their flesh tastes a lot like bland kiwi. The color of a dragon fruit’s flesh is either white or hot pink, and is characteristically flecked with small, black seeds. If you’re lucky enough to find one, don’t be scared…try it! That being said, the less adventurous can easily swap out kiwi for dragon fruit in this recipe.

Just like regular gummy candies, these gourmet tea gummies yield a chewy, thick bite that you can really sink your teeth into. If candy molds aren’t your thing, then simply pour the liquid mixture into a baking dish, let it chill, and cut the jelly sheet into small squares. In less than an hour, you’ll be in tea gummy bliss. Guilt-free, antioxidant-packed snacks to munch on whenever you want…there’s lots to love about this adult take on a childhood favorite!

Many thanks to Joshua Caplan, Founder of Tea of the People for sharing his delicious teas with me! Check out the Tea of the People site for more enticing and unique tea flavors, including Acai x Goji Dragon Well and Pomegranate x Yumberry Dragon Wellalso great for making antioxidant gummies.

Dragon Fruit Blueberry Tea Gummies

Makes 5 cups of gummies.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups organic blueberry juice (no sugar added)

2 rounded Tbsp green tea (I used Tea of the People’s Dragon Well Green Tea, Blueberry x Dragon Fruit)

3/4 cup gelatin

1/2 dragon fruit or 2 kiwis, skin removed

1/2 cup organic blueberries

1/4 cup agave or honey

1 tsp stevia

non-stick vegetable oil spray

Equipment:

large pitcher

strainer

blender

candy mold or 9 x 13 baking pan

large pot

large glass measuring cup (with a spout)

Directions:

1.)  In a large pitcher, cold steep the tea by combining it with the 2 1/2 cups of blueberry juice. Mix in the tea leaves so that they are able to fully and freely steep. Set this in the fridge to chill for 6-8 hours, then strain the leaves from the juice until ready to make the gummies.

2.)  Purée the 1/2 dragon fruit (the white flesh only, not the tough pink rind) and 1/2 cup of blueberries in a blender on high. Set aside. Mix the gelatin into 1 1/2 cups of the blueberry juice tea, and allow it to bloom.

3.)  Pour the other 1 cup of blueberry juice tea and the dragon fruit-blueberry purée into a large pot and bring it to a boil over low heat. When it comes up to heat, dump the bloomed gelatin into the hot juice-tea-puree mixture and let it gradually and completely dissolve. Turn off the heat, then skim off and discard any foam off the surface of the mixture. Mix the agave and stevia in until dissolved.

4.)  Give the candy mold or baking pan a very light, even spray of vegetable oil. Pour the mixture from the large pot into a liquid measure. Fill each cavity of the mold, carefully pouring directly from the liquid measuring cup. If using the baking pan, pour the entire amount of the mixture from the large pot to the baking pan. Place the filled molds or pan into the fridge or freezer until the gummies are fully set and firm to the touch. In the freezer, it will only take about 5 minutes for the candy mold gummies to set.

5.)  Use your fingers to remove the gummies from their molds. If using the candy mold, repeat steps 4 & 5 as many times as it takes to use up all the tea mixture. If the gelatin tea mixture starts to set in the measuring cup, give it a zap in the microwave for 10 seconds to return it to a liquid state. Store gummies in the fridge in an airtight container.

Corned Beef & Cabbage Pasties

Pinch, pinch! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Although you’ll never find me wearing it, the color green is truly one of my favorites. When it comes to food, I take green as a sign of both flavor and freshness. Matcha tea, leafy veggies, or garden herbs are always welcome additions in my recipes, and for today’s post an emerald-green head of savoy cabbage takes center stage.

The only thing I’ll be pinching this year are the roped crusts on the edges of these rustically packaged meat and potato stuffed pastries. I fell in love with these pie pockets during my travels in and around England a few years back. Portable and hearty, pasties are where traditional English cuisine meets on-the-go convenience. This brings us to the inevitable discussion of high tea vs. afternoon tea. Which of these meals would you serve pasties at? Well, the honest answer is that if they are small and cute enough, you could get away with serving them for afternoon tea. But, strictly speaking, pasties are traditionally served for high tea, also known as meat tea
High tea isn’t called high because it’s high class (whatever that means…), it’s called high tea because it’s eaten on a high table. This substantial meal is like dinner or supper for the working class. On the other hand, afternoon tea, also known as low tea, is an elegant, late afternoon refreshment enjoyed by the wealthy. Low tables, like coffee tables, are typical of this meal, as are the crustless sandwiches and pretty cakes that make the experience distinctly lavish.corned beef pasty 1oBecause they are so delicious, pasties have managed to bridge the gap between high tea and afternoon tea. But make no mistake…anytime a food item is homely, humble, and about the size of your head, it’s a good sign that it might be better served at high tea. When it comes to afternoon tea, miniature (and elegant) is generally the name of the game.

A tea, salad, or dessert plate, about 7″ in diameter is the ideal pasty-making tool. With the help of store-bought pie crust, these pasties are surprisingly easy to make. The hardest thing is making sure that the filling ingredients are completely cool before stuffing the pasties.

This is an ideal recipe to use if you have post St. Patty’s day leftovers. Using my hands, I like to remove some of the fat and gristle from the meat as I shred it. Instead of boiling the cabbage, I lightly sautée it in a separate pan so that I can control moisture and prevent the pasties from getting soggy crusts later. As for the potatoes, leave them a bit chunky for some textural contrast.In an ideal world, these would be eaten as a picnic lunch on rolling hills of soft green grass, with a chilled thermos of brisk Irish Breakfast tea nearby. Try eating these pasties the way that Cornish miners used to, where you hold the twisted pastry edge like you would a slice of watermelon. Simply enjoy the filled part of the pie and toss out the crusty rope of pie crust when you’re finished. When it comes to pasties, dingy hands are never a problem, and that’s how you know you are having high tea!

Corned Beef & Cabbage Pasties

Makes 6 large pasties.

Ingredients:

{Filling}

1 cup mashed potatoes, made to your liking

1 cup sautéed cabbage

1 cup corned beef, cooked and shredded

1/3 cup green onion, sliced

{Crust}

2 packages refrigerated pie crust

bench flour

1 egg, mixed with 1 tsp of water (to make egg wash)

Equipment:

Tbsp measure

tea, salad, or dessert plate, about 7″ in diameter

sharp knife

work surface

small bowl of water

rolling-pin (for rolling last 2 crusts)

fork

pastry brush

2 large baking sheets fitted with parchment

Directions:
1.)  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. On a large work surface lightly dusted with bench flour, cut out one pasty crust by placing a tea dish upside-down, over one of the flattened pie crust rounds. Cut out a 7″ circle of pie crust. Repeat this step to make a total of 4 pie crust circles. For the last 2 circles, re-roll the dough scraps to a 1/8″ in thickness, then cut out the last 2 circles of pie crust.

2.)  Fill each pie crust with 2 rounded Tbsp each of the mashed potato, sautéed cabbage, and shredded corned beef. Place the filling on one half of the circle, leaving a 1″ border. Scatter some green onion on the filling. Now, with water, lightly moisten the edge of the pie crust circle surrounding the filling (half of the circle). Fold the unfilled side of the pie crust round over to meet the other wetted edge to create a half-moon, filled pasty. Pinch the edges firmly using your fingers, or use a fork to create a crimped edge. Repeat this step a total of 6 times to create 6 pasties.

3.)  Transfer the finished pasties over to a large baking sheet. You will place 3, evenly spaced apart, on each sheet. Use a fork to poke 3 sets of holes atop the surface of each pasty. Brush the tops of the pasty generously with egg wash.

4.)  Bake the pasties for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve the pasties immediately or at room temperature.

Tea of the Week: Mark T. Wendell’s Irish Breakfast

Where do you go in America to order best-quality Irish Breakfast tea without having to pay overseas postage fees? Well, Boston of course! There’s nothing like a robust, malty cup of Irish Breakfast in the mornings. A good cup of Irish Breakfast tea is like a magical elixir of sorts, a full-bodied brew to get you charging through your day.

Mark T. Wendell Tea Company has been around for over a century now…111 years to be exact! The company opened in 1904 supplying a variety of luxury goods to the New England elite. Today, the company sells tea exclusively, and has an impressive selection of Chinese and Indian teas. I love their gift sets, especially their English-Irish-Scottish Breakfast Tea trio and Julia Child’s Favorites Tea Sampler. I find it fascinating that the beloved French Chef herself bought teas regularly from Mark T. Wendell’s.
Mark T. Wendell’s Irish Breakfast is an Assam blend, made up of small and large black leaves. What I appreciate most about the steep is that it’s strong without being overpowering. Just a few sips will leave you with a pep in your step and ready to make your own luck!

Tasting Notes for Mark T. Wendell’s Irish Breakfast:

BREWING TIPS:  Steep with water that has reached a full boil for 4-5 minutes. Strain out the leaves on time for a perfectly strong brew.
THE TEA:  A blend of small and large leaf Assam. Black leaves, about 1/2″ in length, with smaller brown specks throughout.
THE SCENT:  A strong, sweet scent of fermented malt.
THE STEEP:  Brews to a dark, reddish mahogany. This Assam blend is bold and malty, yet light and brisk on the palette. I like to drink it straight up, but I’m sure many would prefer this with a splash of milk and sugar or a slice of lemon. An excellent substitute for coffee drinkers, and excellent as an iced tea. This is my go-to when I need an afternoon pick-me-up.
GET IT:  At the Mark T. Wendell site.
FOOD PAIRING:  Ideal for breakfast or brunch, wherever you would usually serve coffee. I like to enjoy this brew with a hearty bowl of steel-cut Irish oats in the morning or with a rich Irish Oat Flapjack in the afternoon. This would be a beautiful complement a traditional full Irish breakfast. It’s also fantastic with a thick slice of Irish soda bread or a meat and potato stuffed pasty.

London Fog Latte

Did anyone catch the season premiere of Downton Abbey on Sunday? I must admit, I’m a fan of the series, not just for its clever allusions to tea culture (milk in first or milk in last?) but also for its gorgeous countryside scenery and period costumes. And of course, there’s that adorable tail-wagging golden lab who starts off every episode on a cheery note of anticipation.
This London Fog Latte is my go-to treat whenever I settle in to watch an episode of Downton Abbey. It’s elegant, easy to whip up, and tremendously satisfying even after seeing all those scrumptious servings of tea and cake shown on the series. This luxurious latte has a thick layer of frothy vanilla soy milk laying atop best quality, strongly brewed Earl Grey tea. Vanilla and a touch of raw sugar make it decadent without being too rich. Trust me, Starbucks has nothing on this one.

If you can find some vanilla bean paste, this is the perfect time to use it. This dark syrup is flecked with tons of vanilla seeds, which add a caramel-like richness to the brew, pure and fragrant. Many tea experts believe that the proper way to drink tea is with the milk in last, so that you can assess the tea’s color, aroma, and strength before making any changes. If you end up enjoying these London Fog Lattes as often as I do, then you can put that refined custom into practice. London Fog Lattes..brew them strong, brew them classy!

London Fog Latte

Makes 1 latte.

Ingredients:

1 cup boiling water

2 rounded tsp best quality Earl Grey tea (I used Fortnum & Mason’s Earl Grey Classic)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

raw cane sugar cubes or Demerara sugar, to taste (I used 4 cubes of La Perruche for 1 latte)

1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, or slightly more to taste

1 tsp vanilla bean paste, for drizzling on top (optional)

Equipment:

kettle or water boiler

teapot and strainer

large glass mason jar with lid

spoon

mug

Directions:

1.)  Pour a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract into the mug.

2.)  Brew the tea for 5 minutes. While the tea is brewing, pour milk into the mason jar, then cover with lid and shake vigorously until the milk is frothy and bubbly, almost doubled in volume. Remove the lid and set it aside. Place the uncovered jar of milk to heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds.

3.)  Pour and strain the tea into the mug until it is half full. Mix sugar into the hot tea to taste, remembering that the milk is following. Top the cup off with the frothy milk, then drizzle the top of the latte with vanilla bean paste and serve immediately.

Hibiscus Kombucha Blush

Here’s a fizzy drink to jump start your New Year’s on a slightly healthier note. These Hibiscus Kombucha Blush Cocktails are made from 3 simple ingredients and take just minutes to make. They’re perfect for the short-on-time host or hostess getting ready to celebrate the ball drop tonight. Ready or not, 2015 is here, so there’s no time to waste!What I love about this Hibiscus Kombucha Blush is that it’s effervescent, fresh, and not too sweet. The concoction gets its soft, rosy hue from fermented hibiscus tea and strawberry purée. Both can be found in the fridge section of your health food store or even in a well-stocked ordinary grocery store.

If you want to transform this cocktail into a mocktail, feel free to swap out the prosecco with sparkling apple cider. Either way, you’ll experience a tart pop of fizz balanced by fruity sweetness.Get a head start on your January detox regimen with a beautifully pink Hibiscus Kombucha Blush. The invigorating combination of probiotics, vitamins, and a touch of bubbly will keep you going well into the night. And if you are holding off on detoxing, enjoy these light cocktails with New Year’s Day brunch, along with a few flakey Matcha Croissants. Cheers! Looking forward to seeing you in 2015!!

Hibiscus Kombucha Blush

Makes 1 cocktail.

Ingredients:

prosecco, sparkling wine, or sparkling apple cider, chilled

hibiscus kombucha (I used GT’s Kombucha Hibiscus No. 7), chilled

strawberry purée (I used Odwalla’s Strawberry C Monster Smoothie), chilled

organic strawberries, for decorating glass (optional)

Equipment:

cocktail glass

Directions:

1.)  Fill the glass 1/4 full with the strawberry purée, then to the 1/2 fill line with hibiscus kombucha. Top the glass off with prosecco. Decorate the glasses with scored strawberries and enjoy!

Matcha Croissants

Trips to the gym, calorie counting, eating plenty of veggies…before the new year officially begins, I thought I’d give you a final hoorah, something to cap off the holidays with a bang. There has to be a good reason for making croissants, as they certainly aren’t your everyday kind of bread roll. I make these babies once in a blue moon, and celebrating the end of 2014 is a good enough reason for me. Making croissants requires time, patience, and a gentle touch. And, as any baker who has made croissants before knows, the frigid December air makes the process that much easier.

The first time I made croissants was in pastry school. I remember the day clearly as it was one of the main reasons I enrolled in classes. It’s a good thing I did too, because croissant making is really hard to learn from text, and even harder to explain. The process of creating a laminated dough can be thrilling for a baking enthusiast, but only if you feel like it’s something you can learn without getting overwhelmed.

There’s one simple addition that makes a croissant go from pale butter yellow to earthy leaf green, and that’s a good quality matcha powder. The matcha gets incorporated into the flour-based part of the croissant dough or dètrempe, not the beurrage, or butter block.

One full recipe of this dough makes 32 crispy, flakey mini matcha croissants. If you like variety, then divide the dough up to make both regular (16) and chocolate croissants (12), which are a bit larger than the plain kind. If you want to enjoy every croissant fresh out of the oven, you can easily freeze the croissants after shaping them. Simply freeze them after they are parked on the baking sheet. When they’ve hardened, place them in airtight bags in the freezer so that you can bake them up whenever you’re in need of a tea break.

The matcha actually makes the croissants taste more savory, so these are ideal for creating tea sandwiches like smoked salmon or turkey tarragon. My favorite way to enjoy these matcha croissants is plain and simple, with a dab of some sour raspberry jam and a cup of light, frothy matcha on the side. Serve them for New Year’s brunch as a delicate and decadent way to finish off the holiday season.

Matcha Croissants

Makes 32 plain or 16 plain & 12 chocolate.

Ingredients:

{Dough- Dètrempe}

1/2 cup water, warm for activating yeast

1 Tbsp active dry yeast

3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp matcha powder (I used Mizuba Matcha)

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tbsp salt

1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

bench flour

egg wash, one egg beaten with 1 tsp of water

{Butter- Beurrage}

12 oz butter, slightly colder than room temperature (stiff but not hard to the touch)

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

{Extras}

semi-sweet chocolate chips

Equipment:

small bowl

stand mixer with large bowl and dough and paddle attachments

plastic wrap

large plastic zip bag

large work surface

rolling-pin

pastry brush

sharp knife

18″ ruler

2 large baking sheets, fitted with parchment paper

Directions:

1.)  In a small bowl, combine yeast with warm water. Set this aside for a few moments to activate the yeast. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough attachment, add the proofed yeast mixture and 1 cup of milk. With the mixer on low, gradually add 3 1/2 cups of flour, matcha, sugar, and salt. Mix for 1-2 minutes until a soft dough is formed. If the dough looks too moist and is sticking to the bottom of the bowl, add 1 Tbsp of flour at a time until the dough doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl. You may need to add up to a total of 4 cups of flour. Set the mixer to high and mix the dough until it is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky. This should take about 4 minutes. The dough should be the consistency of soft butter.

2.)  Cover the dough with plastic wrap completely, then place it into a large plastic zip bag and seal tightly. Leave at room temperature to sit for 30 minutes to allow for the gluten to relax.

3.)  To make the butter block, clean the now used/empty mixing bowl, then attach the paddle attachment to the stand mixer. Beat the butter and flour on high speed until you get a smooth consistency similar to the croissant dough you just made. Make sure there aren’t any lumps. If there are, smash them out with your fingers. Place this butter-flour mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap and cover completely.

4.)  With your hands, mold the plastic covered butter into a rectangle that is 5″ by 6″, and about 1″ thick. Try to slap out any air from the butter block. Place in the fridge to chill until needed.

5.)  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the croissant dough to a rectangle 10″ by 16″. Brush off any excess flour from the dough’s surface with the pastry brush. Place the chilled butter block into the center of the rectangle, with the short side of the butter facing the long side of the dough.

6.)  Start to make brochure-like folds by first folding in the left side over the butter block. Again, brush off any excess flour with the pastry brush.
7.)  Now fold the right side of the dough over the center to create a brochure looking dough package. Again, brush off any excess flour.

8.)  Rotate the dough package 90 degrees to the right. Use the rolling-pin to lightly press the dough into a 10″ by 16″ rectangle again. Be gentle, patient, and kind to the dough. Press the rolling-pin down to make impressions rather than using a strong rolling motion. Try not to roll over the edges as that may cause the butter to leak out.

9.)  When you achieve an 10″ by 16″ rectangle again, fold the left and right sides in towards the center, to create a 3 layered brochure again. This is your first turn, hence you can place one finger impression in the dough (I placed in upper right). Now cover the dough with plastic wrap, then place this brochure-like rectangle into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Repeat this process 3 more times for a total of 4 turns, covering the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerating for 30 minutes in between each turn.
matcha croissants 1510.)  After 4 turns, make sure to chill the dough for 30 minutes again.

matcha croissants 16

11.) Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Each piece gets rolled into a 7″ by 18″ rectangle. Work with one piece at a time, refrigerating the other pieces until you are ready for them. matcha croissants 1712.) Roll one piece of the dough into a 7″ by 18″ rectangle, trimming off sides with a sharp knife to create clean edges. Mark the dough every 2 inches using a ruler and knife. Cut lines connecting the marks to create 8 full triangles (and two-half triangle scraps at each end).

13.)  For each triangle, score the center of the base about 3/4″ in to create an Eiffel Tower looking piece of dough.

14.)  Roll the base of the Eiffel Tower up towards the tip to create a finished croissant. Push the ends in to create a crescent shape. Make sure the tip is tucked under so that it doesn’t puff up during baking.

15.)  Place the finished croissants (8 to a pan) on a large, parchment lined baking sheet. Uncovered, let them proof for about 2 hours at room temperature. When ready, brush with egg wash, then bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Repeat steps 12-15 to make another set of plain matcha croissants.

16.)  To make chocolate croissants, roll a piece of dough out (from step 11), again into a into a 7″ by 18″ rectangle, trimming off sides with a sharp knife to create clean edges. On the top and bottom of the long sides of the dough, mark the dough every 3 inches using a ruler and knife. Cut lines connecting the marks to create 6 long rectangles.

17.)  Place some chocolate chips at the bottom of one rectangular dough piece. Roll it up in a sushi roll like fashion, sealing the top edge with a brush of egg wash.

18.)  Place the chocolate croissants (6 to a pan) seam side down on a large, parchment lined baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to slightly smash the roll down so that it lays like a pillow. Uncovered, let them proof for about 2 hours at room temperature. When ready, brush with egg wash then bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Repeat steps 16-18 for another set of chocolate matcha croissants.