Sweet Dreams: The 10 Best Desserts
If you can’t go big on Valentine’s Day, when can you?
Valentine’s Day was designed for going all-out in the name of love — whether that love IS your sweetheart or your sweet tooth. In case it’s both, we’ve compiled a bulletproof list of some of the most decadent desserts Kansas City has to offer. Here’s where to find them.
Tannin Wine Bar
Most people end up at Tannin in the Crossroads when they’re in the mood for wine, but we have another reason: peanut butter cookies. They’re the best cookies, actually, because they’re stuffed with fudge, served with caramel sauce and baked to order, meaning they arrive to your table hot, gooey and fresh. Go the extra mile, and get them “Elvis Style” with a scoop of banana ice cream and candied bacon.
Stock Hill opened in 2016, and this Plaza-adjacent restaurant has seen some changes since then, including the promotion of Kelly Conwell from pastry chef to executive chef. Thankfully, Conwell’s Meyer lemon tart has remained on the menu, and it’s really no wonder why. This creamy tart is bursting with lemon flavor, and the presentation — creme fraiche ice cream, hibiscus jam and pine nuts — is nothing short of elegant.
Tous Les Jours
You’ll feel like a kid inside a candy shop at Tous Les Jours, a French-Asian bakery tucked into a strip mall in Overland Park. For a quick in-and-out that conserves cash and calories, stick to your mission: the Strawberry Fresh Cream Cake. Fluffy buttercream and fresh strawberries are layered between three layers of moist pink cake. You can get a single slice, but we wouldn’t blame you if you walked out with the entire cake.
We’re not sure what makes La Bodega’s famous Spanish Coffee particularly Spanish, other than its featuring of Licor 43, a Spanish liquor made from citrus and flavored with spices. But we’re not here to challenge the established status quo. We’re just here to tell you that when the server sets fire to this drink tableside, causes a miniature firework display by dancing some cinnamon in the flames and then extinguishes the show with a pour of hot coffee and a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream, we know what it is to feel love.
The Waffle Bar
Plaza: 816-832-8348 | Leawood: 913-661-1990
The signs outside The Waffle Bar’s Country Club Plaza and Leawood locations are playfully emblazoned with the phrase “The Diet Ends Here,” and it is an absolute promise, particularly when you order the shop’s signature Bubble Waffle. A hot waffle made fresh and shaped into a cone, then piled with your choice of ice cream and three toppings, it’s the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat. Unleash your inner child with our favorite combination: cotton candy ice cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, strawberries, cookie butter and whipped cream.
AndrÉ’s Confiserie Suisse
No, tiramisu isn’t Swiss, but can we help it if our hometown Swiss chocolatier makes the best version of this Italian staple? The tiramisu torte at Andre’s is a stunner. Weightless ladyfingers soaked in espresso marry fluffy layers of mascarpone cheese, wrapped in a chocolate collar and topped with sculpted spoonfuls of whipped cream, chocolate accents and cocoa powder.
The Restaurant at 1900
Nestled by the Mission Hills Country Club, The Restaurant at 1900 has found its patron saint of sweets in pastry chef Elizabeth Paradise. For evidence of her prowess, look no further than her delicate and dignified red wine-poached pear, which is served amid a canyon of moist chocolate cake and dark chocolate crumble and topped with whipped white chocolate. This is a particularly delicious terrain; enjoy exploring it.
The Capital Grille
The coconut cream pie at The Capital Grille is legendary, and countless pastry chefs and bloggers have endeavored to recreate it over the years. If you’ve had it, you understand why. If you haven’t, well, picture this: A sweet shortbread-coconut crust is filled with a luscious coconut-rum custard, then topped with a heaping pile of silky whipped cream (yeah, there’s rum in that, too) and fresh toasted coconut flakes. You’ll go loco for this coconut combo.
The Grand Marnier souffle is the signature dessert at 801 Chophouse, and for good reason. It’s adapted from the classic Jacques Pepin recipe of the same name, and it shows why some things never go out of style. This airy, golden cloud is served with vanilla anglaise, chocolate sauce and raspberry coulis, so you truly can have it your way.
If you’ve been to the downtown Succotash before, you’ve doubtlessly taken note of the impressive rainbow layer cake. An eight-layer explosion of color, it seems almost too intimidating to order. Well, this Valentine’s Day, check this unicorn dream off your bucket list. Neon blue frosting covers the outside and is generously slathered between moist layers of pink, orange, yellow and green cake. The only “bad” thing about this dessert might be the part where you need to ask for a to-go box.
Photo by Katie Currid