NORMAN, OKLAHOMA — If this is about the time of year people start breaking their New Year’s diets then you can blame places like the La Baguette Bakery in Norman.
January might be a quiet month, but February brings ‘sweets for the sweet’ and lots of chocolate.
We have different kinds of chocolate from white to dark to sweet to semi-sweet,” says Johnny Jhazar.
Jhazar and Rudy Khouri started their bakery very small more than thirty years ago.
Now their bakery operation runs seven days a week.
The ovens hardly have time to cool down, and chocolate comes in by the truckload.
Johnny says, “In a year we probably go through 50,000 pounds of chocolate.”
They use a lot of it in February for the annual Firehouse Art Center Chocolate Festival and for various Valentines celebrations.
That’s when the mice come out to play.
Rudy got the idea from a European bakery.
“We take a mixture of our chocolate cake, white cake, and a little bit of apricot,” says Rudy as he rolls the rich mixture together.
He put his own spin on the chocolate mouse, and suddenly, they were here to stay.
“You have to really love chocolate to enjoy this one,” he smiles while dipping one of his mice in a final bath of molten chocolate.
“They’ve been a staple at the chocolate festival among other places.”
“If you’re going to have mice in here this is the kind you want right?”, jokes a bakery visitor.
“Right,” laughs Johnny. “You don’t want the other stuff.”
Johnny and Rudy tried to get cute one year and paid for it with complaints from loyal chocolate festival fans.
They tried a new recipe instead of mice.
Johhny recalls, “We really got hammered with questions, ‘why, why, why didn’t you bring the mice?”
They’ll make thousands before the end of the month.
Fat and full of chocolate.
The best thing about this kind of mouse is that they’re easy to get rid of.
Someone is always ready to adopt.
The La Baguette Bakery has two locations, one in OKC and another in Norman. To find one go to www.labaguette.com