There’s something in the air … Can you feel it? No, it’s not spring fever. It’s matcha fever. Here we’ll share tasty, fun ways to put this hot ingredient to cool use.

Matcha Cheesecake Bars

A good hit of lemon rind offers a sunny lift that balances the earthy matcha.When making the pistachio shortbread crust, be sure not to press the mixture too firmly into the dish; that’ll compact it and make the crust tough.

Crust:4  ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1 cup)1/3  cup unsalted roasted pistachios3  tablespoons powdered sugar1/4  teaspoon salt1/4  cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces1  tablespoon canola oil1  tablespoon ice waterCooking spray

Filling:2/3  cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk1  tablespoon matcha powder1  tablespoon grated lemon rind1  tablespoon fresh lemon juice1  teaspoon vanilla extract1/8  teaspoon salt8  ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened2  large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, pistachios, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse until pistachios are finely chopped. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add oil and ice water; pulse until moist. Pour mixture into an 11 x 7–inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Gently pat mixture into an even layer in dish. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, and cool completely.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

4. To prepare filling, wipe food processor clean. Combine milk and next 6 ingredients (through cream cheese) in processor; process until well combined, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add eggs; pulse until well combined. Pour filling over cooled crust. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and cool to room temperature. Cover and chill.

SERVES 18 (serving size: 1 bar)CALORIES 144; FAT 7.9g (sat 3.6g, mono 2.6g, poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 4g; CARB 14g; FIBER 1g; SUGARS 9g (est. added sugars 8g); CHOL 38mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 134mg; CALC 55mg

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