Linda Leeper, and her husband Bob, live in Lenexa and enjoy cooking, entertaining and traveling.
Linda, a candidate for the Lenexa City Council, is a retired executive from a local Chamber of Commerce, while Bob retired from a career in sales and marketing.
They stay busy and enjoy time with family and friends, especially their son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren who live in the area.
Q: How did you learn to cook?
I grew up on a farm north of Topeka. My mom was a wonderful cook who taught me life-long kitchen skills. She even made hand-dipped chocolates and wedding cakes, and while I don’t make those, I still prepare many of my mom’s recipes.
I inherited her electric mixer, which means I think of her every time I use it. Now, I enjoy entertaining and look forward to family dinners at holiday time.
Q: What kinds of food do you enjoy cooking?
Cooking is fun and I especially like to entertain as I enjoy presenting foods attractively. Bob enjoys grilling, but I particularly like to make appetizers and desserts, as both foods lend themselves to creative presentations.
We have a dinner group of five couples who have met together for 36 years. Once a month this group of friends goes out to dinner, then returns to one of our homes for dessert. I enjoy those opportunities to serve dessert.
Q: Do you have special recipes or tips for those that travel?
We go to the lake with friends every summer. We also travel to Gulf Shores, Alabama, where we rent a house with friends. It is fun to share the cooking and dinner with my friends while on those trips.
I often make two or three batches of the Snickerdoodle Bars for these trips as they travel so well, but it is also easy to pack my pan so I can bake them at the condo or rental house. I measure then seal the flour and other dry ingredients in a plastic bag for the trip, then I just pick up the butter, eggs and milk at the vacation spots.
We are avid Kansas State University fans and have had season ticket for many years, so we do a lot of tailgating. I am always looking for great recipes that travel easily and these Snickerdoodle Bars travel perfectly.
We also enjoy international travel and I have organized several trips to such places as China, Italy, Ireland and the riverways of Europe. These trips are fun and I always discover great food.
Q: Tell us about this recipe.
Snickerdoodle Bars are a favorite recipe that I clipped from a publication I picked up at the grocery store many years ago. They are baked in a 9-by-13-inch pan and typically, you cut them in squares, but sometimes, for an attractive presentation, I cut them into hexagon shapes and arrange strawberries around the glazed bars.
Q: What tips can you offer for those learning to cook?
Cook foods that are fun and that you enjoy.
Makes 24 bars
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease the bottom only of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray or shortening.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium high speed until butter is creamy. Beat in sugars. Gradually beat eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture until combined. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients until combined.
To make the cinnamon filling, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the batter. Dollop teaspoons of remaining batter evenly over the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle the glaze over the bars. Cut into bars.
Do you want to nominate someone to be featured in Come Into My Kitchen? Maybe a friend, neighbor, sibling or even yourself? Email us at KCComeIntoMyKitchen@gmail.com. Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore are cookbook authors and food consultants that make up The Electrified Cooks. They have published over 14 cookbooks and thousands of recipes. They are members of Les Dames d’Escoffier and blog at pluggedintocooking.com