Paul & Babe Have Never Been So Tasty
Al's Bakery adorns new Cookie creation with our very own Paul & Babe Soft and sweet may not be the first words to pop into one’s head when thinking about Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox. But, if you’re in the bakery business, soft and sweet is fitting for just about everything.
About a year ago Paul Bunyan National Scenic Byway Association board member and Pine River Chamber Director, John Wetrosky, approached Al Klocke, owner of Al’s Bakery in Pine River, with a challenge. Could Al design a clever cookie to help raise awareness of the Paul Bunyan National Scenic Byway? Al’s Bakery is located on the Byway route in Pine River.
Throughout the year at each PBNSBA board meeting, Wetrosky kept the rest of the board members apprised of Al’s progress. There were thoughts of Paul and Babe shaped cookie cutters, but that ended up becoming a design nightmare of corners, curves and points; not to mention the time-consuming bits and dots of colored frosting needed to finish the cookie.
Another direction was needed. Al found it. The shape was round. Easy to deal with. The frosting was one swirl of white. Simple! Paul and Babe were plucked from logging lore and popped into computer technology, their likenesses being electronically generated into perfect replications time after time as they rapidly appeared in all their bold and burly grandeur atop each white swirl of frosting.
But Al didn’t stop there. Yes, he had a soft and sweet success story virtually waiting to happen already, but he had another trick up his sleeve…..a stick! The State Fair isn’t the only place a stick can make food better. Al put his Paul and Babe cookie on a stick, and a star was born!
On April 12 at their regular board meeting, Paul Bunyan National Scenic Byway Association board members had their first look at the cookie creation. The Paul and Babe logo outline and colors stood out boldly, surrounded by the attractive creamy white swirl of frosting. The oversized round shape and the sturdy stick holding it like a lollipop look-alike made the appearance alone enough to inspire delight. Add that soft sweet taste of Al’s great sugar cookies and everyone was unabashed in declaring this cookie a winner.
Al plans to introduce the public to his Paul and Babe cookies at the PBNSBA’s National Designation Celebration Event on May 18 at AmericInn in Pequot Lakes. After that, they will be for sale at Al’s Bakery on Barclay Ave. in Pine River. He is also establishing a bakery route along the Byway this summer. Al’s Bakery products, including the Paul and Babe cookies, will be available at Pelican Square and Moonlight Square, both located on the Paul Bunyan National Scenic Byway.
Al Klocke has known acclaim before. In 2003 he won the Minnesota Bakers Association award for his Swedish rye bread. Every year the Bakers Association has a different theme for baking competitions. The Paul Bunyan National Scenic Byway Association hopes the theme for 2006 is ‘cookies’. Al may just have another winner!