Recipes from the Heartland
KC Destinations, A Regional Alliance is a group of 13 communities (Bonner Springs, KS; Clay County, MO;
Independence, MO; Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, MO; Lansing, KS; Leavenworth, KS; Lenexa, KS; Merriam, KS;
Olathe, KS; Overland Park, KS; Platte County, MO; Shawnee, KS) working together to promote the KC metro
as a tourist destination. The group works to blur the boundary lines in promotion of the entire metro area.
For more information on KC Destination area attractions, visit KCDestinations.com.
Recipes from the Heartland:
• Bonner Springs, KS – Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake
• Clay County, MO – Zerelda’s Blackberry Cobbler
• Franklin County, KS - Smoked Creations’ Stuffed Jalapeno Pepper
• Independence, MO – Bess Truman’s Classic Ginger Snaps
• Kansas City, KS – Grilled Ribeye Steak Sandwich
• Kansas City, MO – Barbecue Sauce
• Leavenworth, KS – Crab Salad & Mango Salsa with Seasoned Avocado
• Lenexa, KS – Spinach Apple Mini-Cakes
• Merriam, KS – Strawberry Hill Povitica French Toast
• Olathe, KS – Glorious Fourth Cake
• Overland Park, KS – Mom’s Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp
• Paola, KS - Louisburg Cider Mill Doughnut Bread Pudding
• Platte County, MO – Platte County Fair Kraut Burgers
• Shawnee, KS – Hutsepot – A Hearty Winter Stew
SPICED PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE W/ GINGER SNAP CRUST
In August 2005, Chef Terry Mille from Bonner Springs, Kan., experienced a life-changing event when he volunteered with the
American Red Cross to help Hurricane Katrina victims. Once back in KC, he experimented with the different flavors and ingredients of the coastal region. Mille’s creation of a sweet potato cheesecake with gingerbread crust and praline topping was served
to his family…and Cowtown Cheesecake was born!
• 40 ginger snap cookies (to yield 2 cups cookie crumbs)
• 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• Four 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
• 1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 1/4 tsp ground allspice
• 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp table salt
• 4 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• One 15-oz. can pure solid-pack pumpkin
(not pumpkin pie filling)
SPICED PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE W/ GINGER SNAP CRUST (cont.)
Position rack in middle of oven and heat oven to 350°F.
Pulse cookies and brown sugar in a food processor until well combined and crumbs are uniform. Transfer to medium bowl;
add melted butter. Combine thoroughly, first with spoon and then with your fingers, until mixture is evenly moist, crumbly, and
holds together a handful is squeezed. Press mixture evenly over the bottom and partway up the sides of 9-inch spring form
pan. Chill 5 minutes and bake for 10 minutes; cool.
Heat kettle of water. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. In separate bowl, stir together
brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt; add mixture to cream cheese. Beat until well blended (about 2 minutes); scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add eggs one at a time; make sure each is thoroughly incorporated
before adding the next; scrape down the bowl after each. Blend in vanilla, pumpkin and stir in cream. Scrape batter into cooled
crust; batter will fill up past the crust and will fill pan to the rim. Tap pan gently once or twice on counter to release air bubbles.
Set pan in larger baking dish (a roasting pan works well); add enough hot water from the kettle to fill about halfway up the sides
of the spring form pan; bake 60 minutes or until top of cake looks deep golden and burnished and center is set; cake will jiggle
a little bit when tapped. Turn off oven and leave oven door ajar for 1 hour; remove cheesecake from oven and run a thin-bladed knife between crust and pan sides to prevent cake from breaking as it cools for 1 hour; the top may rise but will settle as it
cools; cover and chill overnight. Serve w/ fresh whipped cream.
ZERELDA’S BLACKBERRY COBBLER
The Jesse James Farm & Museum is popular historical attraction located at the outlaw’s birthplace and original gravesite in
Kearney, Mo. Tours consist of a 20-minute film, three galleries of artifacts and a guided tour of the 1822 cabin. Admission is
free. Jesse’s mother, Zerelda, used this recipe often for family desserts.
• 1 cup flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 cup milk
• 1/2 cup butter or lard
• 2 1/2 cups blackberries
• 1 cup sugar
• fresh cream
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and milk in ungreased 8” cast iron skillet. Stir in butter till
blended. Mix blackberries and sugar and let stand 30 minutes. Spoon over batter. Bake in a
375 degree oven for 45-55 minutes or until dough rises and is golden. Serve with fresh cream.
SMOKED CREATIONS’ STUFFED JALAPENO PEPPERS
This recipe was created by Jeremy Clevenger, owner of Smoked Creations, Ottawa’s only BBQ restaurant. They offer custom smoked
meats and side dishes that are delectable. Their friendly staff is always ready to serve. Delight in a unique dining experience. Your satisfaction is their top priority!
• Jumbo jalapeno pepper - as many as desired
• Cream cheese
• Seasoned ground sausage
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split opne the jalapeno peppers, but do not cut in half.
Stuff with cream cheese. Pack the ground sausage around the outside of the pepper - forming into an egg shape. Wrap 3-4 slices of bacon around the outside. Place
wrapped pepper on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes (meat should reach 165
degrees when done). Make as many as you’d like and enjoy!
BESS TRUMAN’S CLASSIC GINGER SNAPS
Visitors touring the Truman Home on Delaware Street in Independence can just imagine Bess whipping up a batch of ginger
snap cookies for Harry and Margaret in their modest apple green painted kitchen with worn linoleum and faded patriotic
wallpaper. Every year on President’s Day, the Truman Library gives away cookies such as these made from the recipes of
First Ladies over the years.
• 3/4 cup shortening or butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup light molasses
• 1 egg
• 2 cups flour
• 2 tsp soda
• 1/2 tsp cloves
• 1/2 tsp ginger
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp salt
In a saucepan, melt shortening or butter over low heat. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add sugar, molasses and egg, beat well, Sift remaining ingredients and add to mixture,
beat well. Chill for several hours. Form into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place
on greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Yield 2-3 dozen.
GRILLED RIBEYE STEAK SANDWICH
The Kansas City T-Bones mascot, “Sizzle” the Bull, is a fan favorite. Born June 6, 2003, Sizzle’s Zodiac Sign is Taurus. He bats
and throws right and his favorite player is Former St. Paul Saint Leon “Bull” Durham. His favorite food is pizza but he loves to
grill up this recipe to entertain his guests at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
• 1 hoagie roll per steak
• 6 oz ribeye steak per person
• 2 oz grilled onions and peppers and/or
Portobello mushrooms per steak
• 1 slice provolone cheese per steak
• Kosher salt to taste
• Oil to coat
Brush steak with oil then season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper
and set aside. Next start the onions, peppers and Portobello mushrooms.
When veggies are half done, grill steak to desired temperature. It is important
the veggies and steaks are done close to the same time so as not to overcook
the steaks. Top the steak with veggies then melt the provolone cheese to top.
Place on a bun and serve.
Gates Bar-B-Q is a Kansas City original. The family restaurant established in 1946 has grown to five restaurants, all struttin’ the Gates BarB-Q unique red roof design and man in a full tuxedo top hat. Ollie Gates, owner and executive chef, shares this recipe he uses at home.
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup salt
• 2 Tbsp celery seed
• 2 Tbsp ground cumin
• 2 Tbsp ground red pepper
• 2 Tbsp garlic powder
• 1 Tbsp chili powder
• 2 qt catsup
• 2 cups apple vinegar
• 1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
• 1 tsp lemon juice
In a small bowl, mix together sugar, salt, celery seed, cumin, red pepper, garlic powder
and chili powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine catsup, vinegar, liquid smoke and
lemon juice. Add dry ingredients and mix until very well blended. Serve warm or at room
CRAB SALAD & MANGO SALSA WITH SEASONED AVOCADO
Cafe Chilingo known as “the hot dog place,” has been creating delicious, fresh and healthy soups and salads in Leavenworth,
Kan., for almost three years. Elena Gann, owner and chef, shares this recipe she uses at public demonstrations and sometimes
offers as a lunch special at the cafe.
• 4 clear plastic 8 oz cups
• 8 oz. crab meat
• 2 ripe mangos peeled, seeded and diced
• 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
• 1/4 cup green bell pepper diced
• 1/4 cup red onion diced
• 1/4 cup tomato diced
• 1 Tbsp fresh jalapeño seeded and minced
• 1 Tbsp cilantro finely chopped
• 1 Tbsp cilantro & roasted onion infused oil
• 1 Tbsp mango balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp lime juice
• 1 large avocado diced
• 1 tsp lemon Juice
• 1 pinch of sea salt
• course ground pepper to taste
Place a few air holes in the bottoms of four disposable plastic cups. Shred crab
meat and set aside. Combine mango, bell peppers, onion, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, oil, vinegar and lime. Fill each cup with the salsa, a little more than 1/3 full.
Press firmly down. Combine avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper and distribute over the mango salsa layer so that the cup is about 2/3 full. Press down and
evenly distribute the crab over the layer of avocado. Flip the cup upside down
on a salad plate and slowly pull the cup off of the salad to create a tower. Garnish
with cilantro sprig and red bell pepper. Chill and serve.
SPINACH APPLE MINI-CAKES
By Susanne Neely, 2007 Lenexa Spinach Festival Recipe Winner – Dessert Category
The Lenexa Spinach Festival celebrates the city’s heritage as “Spinach Capital of the World” in the 1930s when many German,
Swiss and Belgian families immigrated to the area and Lenexa became famous for its superior quality spinach. The festival
celebrates that bit of agricultural history and is held annually on the first Saturday after Labor Day at Sar Ko Par Trails Park.
• 1 cup frozen spinach (thawed, well drained)
• 2 Granny Smith apples (peeled, chopped)
• 2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 1/2 or 2 tsp cinnamon
• 4 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 cup oil
• 2 tsp vanilla
Cream Cheese Frosting:
• 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
• 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
• 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pans with non-stick spray. In a medium
bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set
aside. In a separate bowl, beat eggs about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and
beat until batter is thick and light yellow in color (about 3 minutes). Add oil slowly
and then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat just until mixed. Fold in
apples and spinach. Pour into pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely before
For the frosting, mix cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla extract.
Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until smooth.
STRAWBERRY HILL POVITICA FRENCH TOAST
Using Grandmother’s recipe from the early 1900s, the family tradition of hand-made Povitica lives on at Strawberry Hill Povitica
Company in Merriam, Kan. With the help of dedicated bakers and a passion for what we do, each world famous Povitica is
handmade, hand-rolled, and patiently baked to perfection.
• 1 loaf Strawberry Hill Apple Cinnamon
Povitica Bread, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
• 4 large eggs
• 2 pinches fine sea salt
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• Pinch freshly grated nutmeg,
a few passes over the grater
• Zest of about 1/4 lemon
• A little bit of butter
Preheat oven to 350. Butter bottom and sides of baking dish (1-2 quart oval
dish). Fill buttered dish with Povitica cubes and whisk remaining ingredients
together in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer mixture to a pitcher or liquid
measuring cup. Pour custard mixture over bread evenly distributing the
custard to all of the bread cubes. Let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes
to absorb. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil
and bake 10-20 minutes more, or until custard is set. Serve warm and enjoy!
GLORIOUS FOURTH CAKE
The cooking demonstrations at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm in Olathe, Kan., use a variety of resources reproduced from
19th century cookbooks. This Glorious Fourth cake recipe comes from Wagon Wheel Kitchens by Jacqueline Williams. The
Westport route of the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails was one of the many reasons the Mahaffie family established their
farm in Olathe. When cookstove demonstrations are conducted, this is just one of the recipes that may be demonstrated in the
cellar of the 1865 Mahaffie farmhouse.
Travelers to Oregon would try to reserve ingredients such as sugar and flour to make a cake to celebrate Independence Day.
By this time of their journey, they either had no eggs left or no chickens left to lay eggs. This cake, made without eggs, was a
useful recipe to have. Essence of lemon (lemon extract) or powdered citric acid would have been used in place of fresh lemons.
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 cup sweet milk
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 tsp cream of tartar
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 large lemon
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Sift dry ingredients (except powdered sugar) in bowl. Grate lemon rind and add to bowl.
Cream together butter and sugar, add to rest of ingredients. Pour batter into greased/floured
pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Juice the lemon and mix with the powdered sugar
to make a glaze. When cake is done, poke a few small holes in the top with either a toothpick
or a bit of straw. Pour glaze over warm cake.
MOM’S OLD-FASHIONED APPLE CRISP
Located in historic and charming downtown Overland Park, Kan., and housed in a beautifully restored buggy barn built at the
turn of the century, The Culinary Center of Kansas City offers an extensive culinary retail shop, team-building activities, private
event space and hundreds of hands-on classes.
Ingredients: (Serves 10 to 12)
• 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (preferably Fuji)
• 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg
• 1 tsp grated lemon zest
• 1/3 tsp table salt
• Juice of one lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
• 6 Tbsp butter, cut into small bits
• 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss apples with sugar, lemon zest and
juice in a large bowl. Spread evenly in 8-inch square baking pan,
pressing down lightly. Mix next five ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add butter. If mixing by hand, use fingertips or a pastry blender to
lightly incorporate butter into dry ingredients until mixture looks
like coarse irregular crumbs, with no visible large lumps of fat. Do
not overwork the mixture. If using a food processor, pulse about 10
times, then process for 5 to 10 seconds, until there are no visible
large lumps of fat. Spread topping over prepared fruit. Bake for 15
minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until topping crisps
and turns light brown and fruit is tender when pierced – 30 to 40
minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with freshly whipped
cream or ice cream.
LOUISBURG CIDER MILL DOUGHNUT BREAD PUDDING
For over 35 years, Louisburg Cider Mill has been the place for family fun each fall. But you can enjoy the Cider Mill year-round, eating
cider doughnuts fresh on-site or using the day-old ones for this tasty treat.
• 4 oz. unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup raisins
• 16 Louisburg Cider Mill Cider Doughnuts
• 1/4 cup Calvados (Apple Brandy)
or 1/4 cup Louisburg Apple Cider
Bourbon Sauce Ingredients:
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 2 teaspons pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon corn starch
• 1/4 cup Maker’s Mark Bourbon
or 1/4 cup Louisburg Apple Cider
Spiced Whipped Cream:
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1/8 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
LOUISBURG CIDER MILL DOUGHNUT BREAD PUDDING (cont.)
Preheat oven to 350°. In food processor or mixer, combine butter and sugar briefly, just until it forms into a ball. Add eggs, heavy cream,
cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and Calvados. Process until blended. Lightly butter a 9×13 baking dish. Break up the doughnuts into 1-inch
pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter the raisins over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts; soak for 5 – 10 minutes. You may
need to push the doughnut pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by the egg mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 35
– 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The doughnut bread pudding is done when the custard
is set but still soft.
Heat the cream, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan over high heat, whisking, for 3 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the bourbon. When
bubbles form around the edges of the cream, whisk in the bourbon mixture. As the cream boils up, remove the pan from the heat and
continue whisking vigorously until thoroughly blended and slightly thickened. Place over low heat for 1 minute. (This is not a thick
cream sauce, it is meant to be fairly thin.)
Beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar cinnamon, and nutmeg. Continue to beat mixture until it
forms stiff peaks.
Cut the pudding into 3 x 3 inch pieces. Place in center of serving plate. Spoon the Bourbon Sauce over the pudding. Top with Spiced
Cream Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
PLATTE COUNTY FAIR KRAUT BURGERS
The Platte County Fair in Missouri celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013 and a staple for the past 49 years is the Kraut Burger.
Created by fair volunteers Mutt and Nannie Tinder in 1964, this juicy specialty has people standing at the gate each year, waiting to get their annual burger.
• 1 lb ground chuck
• 1 cup German-style sauerkraut (drained)
• 3 hamburger buns
• McCormick’s Montreal brand steak seasoning
Divide chuck into thirds. Then divide each third into half, and flatten them
out into 6 patties. Place 1/3 cup sauerkraut on each of 3 patties. Top with
the other 3 patties, being sure to seal well around the edges. Sprinkle
with steak seasoning. Grill until done. Place each burger on a bun and
top with mustard or your favorite topping.
HUTSEPOT - A HEARTY WINTER STEW
Hutsepot (translated “Hot Pot”) is a very traditional Belgian dish of peasant origin and one that is emblematic of the best home
cooking. It was widely used by the Belgian truck-farming families in early Shawnee, Kan. The dish was never prepared the same
way twice. The ingredients varied with whatever winter vegetables and meats the cook could get their hands on – parsnips,
Savoy cabbage, turnips and dried beans among them. Sometimes there were many ingredients and sometimes just a few,
but it didn’t matter. Hutsepot was always a welcome, warming meal in the coldest weather.
• 1 lb beef blade pot roast, brisket, short ribs, chuck or shank,
cut into 1 1/2 –inch cubes
• 1 lb veal shoulder (preferably with cartilage),
cut into 1 1/2 –inch cubes
• 1 lb lamb shoulder or neck, most the fat discarded,
cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
• 1 lb lean slab bacon, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes and blanched in
boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes
• 1 pig’s foot, halved, or pig’s tail (optional)
• 3 medium onions, peeled and quartered
• 3 whole cloves
• 4 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 4 pieces
• 3 ribs celery or 1 peeled celery root (celeriac), cut into large chunks
• 1 pound small turnips, peeled and quartered
• 4 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed well
and cut into 1-inch chunks
• 1 Savoy cabbage, cored and cut into 8 wedges
• Bouquet garni: ½ bunch parsley, 3 springs fresh
thyme, and 2 bay leaves tied together with
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 pound small fresh pork sausages (optional)
• 3 pounds medium red potatoes, scrubbed
• Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
HUTSEPOT - A HEARTY WINTER STEW (cont.)
Place the beef, veal, lamb, bacon and pig’s foot, if using, into a tall, heavy stockpot. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch
and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and skim the surface thoroughly, discarding all the foam that has risen to the
surface. Stud 3 of the onion pieces with the clovers. Add the onions and all the other vegetables, except the potatoes. Add
the bouquet garni and season with salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered, over low heat for 1 ½ hours. If you are using
fresh pork sausages, fry them in a little oil for a few minutes until they are brown all over. Add the potatoes and sausages to
the Hutsepot and simmer, partially covered, for another 30 minutes. At this point all the meat should be very tender. Discard
the bouquet garni. Taste and adjust the seasoning and add the nutmeg. Serve is warmed deep soup bowls. Serve with crusty
peasant-style bread and a good, quality mustard.