Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Paradise Cove Beach Cafe

My husband and I love the beach, and thankfully, so does our 1-year old son. A typical beach day for us used to mean stopping at Trader Joe’s to fill our cooler bag with food on our way to Point Dume in Malibu. We passed the sign for Paradise Cove multiple times on our journey to and from the beach, and each time I thought, “ I want to go there sometime.” As I do, I looked up yelp reviews, and they looked favorable. Yet, a year or two went by since I originally noticed the Paradise Cove sign, and we still did our typical beach day at Point Dume. That is until last month.

I have now been to Paradise Cove 4 times, and the first time we went there was about a month ago. I think you can say we now have a new beach routine that consists of going straight to Paradise Cove, enjoying a delicious meal at the Paradise Cove Beach Café, and then hitting the beach.

This post is mainly about the Café, but let me take a minute to talk about the beach itself. It’s very family friendly. There are usually lots of kids playing in the sand and at the water’s edge. It’s clean, cleaner than most beaches you’ll find in southern California. It’s a beautiful place to go for a walk. Walk to the right, and you’ll see lots of rocks and cliffs. Walk to the left, and you’ll be walking in front of Malibu beach houses. If you’re too lazy to pack a beach chair, they have lounge chairs and beds for rent. What more could you want? Oh, something to eat and drink? The Café has you covered. There’s a “to go” service, which I’ve never used, but you can also eat inside or outside at the restaurant.

You’re going to want to eat at the Café. Parking is $40 if you don’t eat there, but you get 4 hours for only $6 with validation. It’s really silly not to eat at the Café. You’re going to be hungry while you’re there, and after all, the food is good, overpriced (you’re paying for the location), but good.

The first time I went to Paradise Cove, I went with just my husband while my mom babysat our 1-year old. We didn’t want to take him with us until we checked out the location first. We arrived around 4pm. We didn’t have a reservation, but we were given a table outside right away.

Here’s what makes Paradise Cove unique: you can order lobster while sitting at a table with your feet in the sand. And, there’s no dress code. You see everything from people dressed for the beach to business attire. I love it. It’s so California.

On our first visit, we ordered the Smokehouse BBQ Feast which is described on the menu as “a heaping platter of hickory smoked baby back ribs, kobe beef ribs, gourmet sausages and whole smokehouse BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, fresh coleslaw and our golden fries. It came with a loaf of sourdough bread and butter, which was basically what it sounds like it is. My husband was trying not to eat a lot of carbs, so we substituted the corn on the cob and the fries with sugar snap peas and creamed spinach. The sugar snap peas tasted healthy. The creamed spinach was amazing…until I saw an eyelash in it. That made me stop eating it. Let’s assume it was my eyelash…but probably not. I’m not a huge fan of ribs, but my husband liked them. I preferred the chicken and the sausages. It was a lot of food, and we didn’t have a lot of leftovers. Our son wasn’t feeling well the next day, and pretty much the only thing that made him happy was gnawing on the leftover sourdough bread to ease his teething pain. So, even though my son wasn’t with us, he benefited from the visit.

The next time we visited Paradise Cove, we brought our son with us. I was so excited that he was going to be able to sit outside and possibly even play in the sand while we waited for our food. We arrived at noon, and it was crowded. There was a 15 minute wait for a table inside or an hour wait for a table outside. We were hungry, so we decided to just get a table inside. We sat in the entrance and listened to music on the jukebox while we waited.

Even though we weren’t outside, we had a great table. It was right by the windows, and the highchair for my son was set up right at the end, so he could look directly out at the beach. He loved watching all of the beach inside and outside. So, no regrets about eating inside. It was a great experience, but I would still probably prefer to eat with my feet in the sand just for the novelty of it.

On this visit, we ordered the Hot Combo Sampler appetizer platter which is described on the menu as “hickory smoked BBQ baby back ribs, BBQ jumbo shrimp, papa joe’s fried fish, macadamia coconut shrimp, beer battered chicken tenders, crispy calamari and our golden fries.” My favorite part was the coconut shrimp. The fries were really good too. They were baby approved as well. (I know bread and fries aren’t the best for babies. I bring a banana everywhere I go so he has something healthy to eat, but I let him try what we’re eating too. Don’t judge.)

The next time we visited Paradise Cove, I made a reservation for 11am because I wanted to make sure we got a table outside. We arrived a few minutes after 11am, but I told the hostess about the reservation. It wasn’t a problem getting a table outside. I think we actually got the exact table we had on our first visit. The only thing to mention is that I later got an email from OpenTable asking why I never showed up for my reservation. Apparently, the hostess didn’t pay attention to the reservation. It didn’t matter; I just don’t want it to look like I flaked.

My son loved sitting in the highchair outside. He loved looking around at all the people. It seemed like we were in the kid section because there were kids in highchairs at nearby tables too. Like I said, this is a very family friendly place.

This visit was exactly a week after my birthday, so as a late celebration, I decided to splurge and order the Pineapple Mango margarita because it comes in a whole pineapple, and that’s just cool. It was overpriced, but it was quite tasty. The only real negative is that it was cut a little too far down, and the drink was leaking onto the table. Thankfully, we had an extra bread plate, so we just set it on top of that to hold the excess liquid.

My husband was going to order the tacos, but they only have corn tortillas. My husband and I prefer flour tortillas, so the waitress recommended the shrimp quesadilla. My husband wanted a minute to think about it, but I was like “order the quesadilla; it’ll be like Maui.” (If you follow my blog, you’ll remember the shrimp quesadillas I loved in Maui and how I now make shrimp quesadillas at home.) So, he ordered the shrimp quesadilla. We should’ve looked at the menu first though because it’s actually called BBQ Shrimp Quesadilla. I wasn’t expecting the BBQ sauce inside. It wasn’t bad, but next time I’d ask for the BBQ sauce on the side. It’s described on the menu as “3 layers HUGE! Ask Alex.” It’s a 15” tortilla. It really is huge!

I ordered Tim’s Seafood Burger which is described on the menu as “our mixture of crab, shrimp, clams & scallops.” I just thought that sounded unique and awesome. It was definitely a patty made out of seafood. I expected it to be a little bit more crisp somehow. My husband said it tasted a little undercooked. I wouldn’t order it again. Instead of the fries or coleslaw that it usually comes with, I requested a side of fruit. It was really good and refreshing. I gave the strawberry pieces to my son who loves strawberries.

My most recent visit to Paradise Cove was just last week. We noticed a definite change since it was after Labor Day. With kids back in school and vacation season over, the place had less than half the business that it did the visit before. And, we arrived at the same time, 11am. We sat outside again, and we probably had the best table outside. It was right on the edge next to the open beach. We had a great view.

My son loved sitting in his highchair scribbling on the kids’ menu with the provided crayons. Even though only a week or so had passed since our last visit, he had a much better understanding of using the crayons. The visit prior, he just wanted to eat them.

My husband ordered the Free Range Swordfish dinner, and he got it blackened. For his side, he requested fruit. His meal came with sourdough bread, and my son enjoyed snacking on that, but I think he also liked the swordfish. He does love fish. It was very juicy and flavorful but not spicy.

I think I finally found my go-to order. I ordered A Steak Sandwich which was described on the menu as “a filet mignon on sourdough cheese toast with onions & mozzarella.” It’s as good as it sounds, maybe even better. It actually comes on a sourdough roll, not just sourdough toast, and the bread is covered with grilled onions and melted mozzarella. I thought about asking for some mustard, but it was just so good that it didn’t need it. I got fruit for my side. I ate it all. I was so full, but it was just too good not to finish.

Thanks to Paradise Cove, we now have a new beach day usual routine, and I love it. I can’t wait to go back and try more things on their menu. I have my eye on the clam chowder and the chocolate cake. I'd also like to get there early enough to try some items on their breakfast menu. There are about three types of pancakes on the menu where the descriptions make me drool. Maybe next time.

Happy eating!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Masa of Echo Park

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. I gave her several suggestions about things we could do to celebrate, but she just wanted pizza. Originally, she wanted Pizza Hut, but when I told her about Masa, the Chicago-style pizza place in Echo Park that I heard about, she wanted to go there instead. I’m so glad we did.

Most of my life revolves around my baby’s schedule, so we left the valley and headed to Echo Park around 1:30pm, after my son’s nap. By “we” I mean me, my mom, my husband and our 1-year old son. Traffic was light, and Masa was easy to find. We got a metered spot on the street right next to the restaurant and headed inside.

We were greeted at the door. The place was pretty empty except for a couple families. We were given a table right by the window. Our waiter asked if we’d eaten there before, and when we said “no,” he told us that they specialize in Chicago-style pizza and that it takes 40-45 minutes to prepare the pizza. I had read that online, so we were prepared. We took a minute or two to look at the deep dish pizza options and decided to order a large Lots of Meat pizza which is described on the menu as “Masa's Secret Recipe Sweet Italian Sausage & Pepperoni...lots of it.” Our waiter placed our order right away.

We kept our menus to think about an appetizer or something to eat while were waiting. The waiter had already brought out a loaf of bread, which was round and perfectly soft. My son was eagerly munching on pieces of that while we looked at the menus.

Our waiter came back, and when we said we were thinking about ordering dessert as an appetizer, he said that a lot of people order the bread pudding to eat before their pizza arrives. The bread pudding is their specialty. It’s actually called “Warm Croissant Bread Pudding," and it’s described on the menu as "Masa's Signature dessert: chocolate, almond & butter croissants, pan baked in a vanilla custard & drizzled with warm caramel sauce.”

We ended up ordering three desserts. Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts, so we had to order that. Crème Brulee is my husband’s favorite dessert, so we had to try the Chocolate Silk Crème Brulee which is described on the menu as “Silky, creamy, chocolate custard.” And, since it was my mom’s birthday, she obviously had to pick a dessert. She wanted to try the Classic Cannoli Italiano, which is described on the menu as “Crispy Italian pastry with a chocolate chip ricotta filling.” Basically, we tried every dessert except the carrot cake; we’ll have to try that next time.

The waiter brought out the desserts with a candle in the bread pudding since it was my mom’s birthday. That was sweet of him since we’d only mentioned her birthday in passing. She made a wish, and we all tasted all of the desserts. The bread pudding was my favorite. I mean, just read the description above. What’s not to like? It seemed less like bread pudding and more like the best French toast casserole I’d ever had. I mean that as a compliment. No complaints. My mom usually doesn’t like bread pudding, and she loved it too. I gave my son a few pieces of it, and he eagerly gobbled it up, a huge grin on his face.

The crème brulee was good, but I’m not a huge crème brulee fan. My husband isn’t a huge dark chocolate fan, so since it was dark chocolate crème brulee, it wasn’t his favorite. I think he preferred the bread pudding too.

The cannoli looked small compared to the bread pudding, but I think it was just that the bread pudding was massive. My mom liked it, but she said she wished the filling were a little thicker and the pastry weren’t quite as hard. I mean, obviously you want the pastry to be crisp, but it was kind of difficult to cut it with your fork. I thought the taste was great though. I broke off a little piece for my son. He looked hesitant to taste it at first, but after he did, he got an expression on his face that indicated delight. I think the cannoli was his favorite dessert.

We didn’t mind the wait for the pizza. I admired the décor. I love that the chairs are mismatched, and after seeing their vinyl tablecloths, I want to go out and get one for my house; it reminds me of my grandma’s house. Even the bathrooms were cute and eclectic. They were one-person bathrooms, but they were very clean. They even had the Hawaiian Breeze scented air freshener that I buy for my own house.

My son sat in a high chair that faced a TV screen that was playing an old black and white movie. He loved watching the movie, and he loved the big band music that was playing. He bopped along to the music and waved his arms like a conductor. I’ve never seen a happier baby than he was while waving his arms, a piece of buttered bread in one hand and a piece of bread pudding in the other. (I realize this is not health food, and I do not feed my son like this on a regular basis. He loves fruit and vegetables, but every once in awhile, you just have to splurge. Just sayin.’)

The waiter set up a small table next to our table for the pizza. It was ten huge pieces of thick, juicy deliciousness! I took a quick picture before the waiter served us. I broke off a couple little pieces of pepperoni and crust with a little cheese for my son. Then I dug in. 

In case you’ve never had Chicago-style pizza before, this is definitely pizza that you eat with a fork, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I hadn’t had real Chicago pizza in probably 20 years. (Wow, I feel old.) I grew up in Ohio, and Chicago style is real pizza to me. It’d been way too long. I loved the thick yet crunchy yet soft crust. I loved the thick, oozing, gooey cheese. I loved the mounds of chunky tomato sauce. I loved the pepperoni. 

The sausage was on top in a layer. It wasn’t my favorite. We all agreed that next time we’d get the pizza without sausage, but that’s just personal preference. Believe me, there will be a next time. 

Especially after polishing off three desserts, one piece each was all we could handle. We got a box for the rest.

Our waiter told us that in the future, if we want, we can call ahead, and they can start on our pizza before we arrive. That way we don’t have to wait so long. The only exception is when they’re really crowded. In that case, if they started our pizza before we got there, and if there weren’t a table ready for us when we arrived, our pizza would just get cold sitting in the back. The call ahead option is great to know about, but we really didn’t mind the wait. I mean, we needed time to eat our desserts!

As we drove away, we noticed that we were walking distance from the park that is Echo Park. There’s a beautiful lake with an island in the middle of it. There’s a nice playground, and there are boat rentals. There’s also a walking path around the lake. Next time, I plan to drive to Masa, place my pizza order, and then go for a walk around the lake while the pizza’s baking. Maybe then I’ll be hungry enough to enjoy two pieces!

By the way, the pizza is every bit as good reheated or even cold. We started with 7 leftover pieces, and we’re already down to 3. I don’t think the pizza will survive the rest of the day. Yum!

Happy eating!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Odyssey's "Luau Extravaganza"

Last Friday was my birthday. I wanted to do something special, but I didn’t want it to be stressful. I thought about a beach day, but with traffic, that sounded stressful.

We live in the valley, so my husband made dinner reservations at The Odyssey since that’s not very far away and would have a nice sunset view. I always enjoy a sunset view.

The day before my birthday, I went to The Odyssey’s website to glance at the menu, and I noticed that they were having a special event on my birthday, a “Luau Extravaganza.” I asked my husband to call and see if we could get tickets to the luau. He called that night and asked if we could order the luau food while sitting in the restaurant at a table by the window. I’m not sure who he talked to, but the guy said “I don’t see why not.” I didn’t think that sounded right. It was a luau “extravaganza” after all, and it said you needed tickets and that there would be live entertainment. I pictured a guy playing a slack key guitar and another guy on the drums. “Live entertainment” usually translates to “live music” in my mind. So, my husband called back the next day, and he was told that there were 10 tickets left for the luau. He was told that the event started at 6pm and that seating would be first come first serve. He was also told that there would be tray passed appetizers at 6pm, dinner at 7pm and entertainment at 8pm with games after that. He filled out an online form and emailed it back to reserve the tickets.

island cocktails
My mom came over to babysit (yay for grandmothers!), and we arrived at The Odyssey a little before 6pm. We wanted to make sure we got seats with the best sunset view possible. We were told to wait because they weren’t seating yet, so we went down to the bar area and looked at the view.

Then I noticed that people were outside on the patio, so we went over to the hostess desk by the bar (where we were told to go to be seated for the event) and gave her our name. We were asked “Do you mind sharing a table with another couple?” I immediately said “yes.” My husband added, “it’s her birthday.” We were told that the seats were assigned. That they were not in fact first come first serve upon arrival but upon buying the tickets. We were told that they added 10 more tables just that morning. We were told to wait and they’d see what they could do. Turns out they found another couple who didn’t mind sharing their table, so we were given our own table.

Oh, there’s so much to say. Let me just say that I don’t want to write a negative review. I really don’t. I hope that the things I say in this blog post, that if they’re read by the management at The Odyssey, that these comments can be used to improve future events.

When giving feedback they say to give positive feedback first, right?
-       Well, the hostess did manage to get us our own table. That’s good.
fruit display
-       Each ticket included a drink voucher which you could exchange for either an “island cocktail” or two non-alcoholic beverages. There were two island cocktails, a mai tai or a blue Hawaiian. We got one of each so we could try both. The bartender poured the drinks right in front of us. The blue Hawaiian got a nice garnish. The mai tai was just given a cherry dropped inside. I liked the taste of the mai tai better, and my husband preferred the blue Hawaiian, so it worked out. So, the drinks were good. That’s positive, right? 
-       The weather was perfect.
-       Of the luau food, I liked the huli huli chicken, the macademia crusted fish, and the fruit display was impressive. 

What else? Let me go on to the negatives.
-       I already mentioned the confusion about whether seating was first come first serve or not. It seems that the employees aren’t on the same page since we were told the exact opposite on the phone as we were when we arrived.
-       If we were supposed to share a table, that’s something we should’ve been told when making the reservation.
-       There were tiny ants on our table.
-       There were tiny ants on the table next to us, so the ladies sitting there asked to move tables. They were moved to another table without a problem. (But I thought the seating was assigned?) A couple that arrived late was later seated at the ant table next to us. The ladies that were originally sitting there pulled the person who sat them there aside to tell her about the ant situation, but they were told it had been taken care of. It hadn’t. We were sitting right there. Nothing changed.
-       The layout of the tables was bad. You either had your back to sunset or to the entertainment. If the chairs and been arranged just the opposite, everyone would’ve had a view of both the sunset and the entertainment.
-       The centerpieces on the table were disappointing. It was just a yellow napkin opened up with a few shells scattered on it and two votive candles. I could’ve done better than that, especially for the price per person.
table decorations
-       We were given leis, but they were the cheapest leis possible. At luaus in Hawaiian you get real flower or shell leis. I didn’t expect that, but these weren’t even the $1 leis at the party store. These were cheaper than that. I know because I’ve bought leis for my own luau parties.
-       I saw the lady who seated us standing on the stairs eating appetizers. It looked unprofessional.
-       They didn’t offer us water glasses, and when we asked for water, it took about a half hour for it to arrive. When it did arrive, there was an ant in my husband’s water glass (which he promptly exchanged).
-       The tray passed appetizers were tiny and if you didn’t want raw meat or spam, your only option was Hawaiian (pineapple and ham) pizza. Again, the pieces were tiny. It was just okay.
-       Appetizers were passed around at 6pm, but we didn’t have appetizer plates until 6:30pm, and the plates weren’t clean. I wiped dirt off of mine.
-       The buffet dinner started at 7pm, but there was no announcement when it was ready. I saw people with plates of food, so I told my husband, and we got in line.
-       They really did cook a whole pig, but it tasted undercooked. I’m not saying it wasn’t safe to eat. I’m saying it wasn’t fall-off-the-bone delicious. It was kind of tough. I’ve eaten at luaus in Hawaii. This needed to be cooked low and slow.
-       The cooked plantains were cooked with the peels on them and with the stickers still on the peels.
luau buffet
-       There were more tables set up while we were eating. I’m assuming they were overbooked or people arrived for dinner without tickets to the luau and were sold tickets right then and there. Anyway, there were tables set up where the entertainment was supposed to set up. The hostess looked pretty distraught when she realized that. They ended up (politely and apologetically) moving our table back to make room.
-       During appetizers and dinner, Hawaiian music (like Elvis) was played on a loop, which is fine, but the music stuck on the song “Hawaiian Superman.” It’d cut out halfway through that song and then start over at the beginning of the CD or whatever they were playing. It seemed unprofessional.
-       The live entertainment consisted for four hula dancers who looked high school or college aged. They were supposed to perform in one row, but there wasn’t room due to the added tables, so there were two in front of our table and two behind it. They started performing when dessert was set up (once again, no announcement about it, we just saw other people eating it). It was my birthday, and I wanted cake, and I was stuck. I was literally surrounded by hula dancers. It was like being on the stage. It was kind of annoying.
-       The music used for the entertainment was through a portable speaker that cut in and out. It seemed pretty unprofessional.
-       When there was a break between dancers, I went to get up to get dessert and almost tripped because the tablecloth on our table was too long. It was touching the floor and then some. That reminded me that when my husband and I went to the Sunday brunch at the Odyssey a couple years ago, I did trip on the tablecloth that was dragging on the floor, and that knocked the complimentary champagne on my lap. They’re square tables. Fold the tablecloths in half if you have to.
-       I was hoping for coconut cake. No such luck. The desserts were okay. Nothing special.
-       After the entertainment, there was a raffle. Each guest had a raffle ticket. The hostess had different guests draw the raffle tickets. We actually won a free brunch. That’s nice, but it’s one free brunch, so unless you want to eat alone, you have to buy brunch for someone else.
-       They never refilled our water glasses.
-       We got a free ticket for the photo booth, but the photo booth in the lobby said $3. We asked about it, and it was $3 per person, and the ticket was good for one person. So, if there were two of you, the picture would be $3. If there were three of you, the picture would be $6. They were charging per person not per picture. We gave our ticket to another couple so they could hopefully get a free photo.
-       The backdrop for the photo booth was a blue curtain. It was a luau. They should’ve had a Hawaiian picture for the backdrop and perhaps some Hawaiian props.

Like I said, I don’t want to write a negative review. If I had been given a comment card, these would’ve been my comments. I felt bad for the hostess. It seemed like she knew how things were supposed to go and everyone else was doing something different (such as setting up tables where the hula dancers were supposed to perform) without her knowing it. I will go back to the Odyssey. We have a Sunday brunch to use after all. And, the bar area looked nice. I might try happy hour. Their drinks were good. However, I will not go to another event at the Odyssey.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Baby's First Cookies

I have a 10 month old son, and he’s been eating solid foods since he was 6 months old.  He used to love the purees I’d make for him, and some of the puree combos I came up with even inspired me to create recipes my husband and I could enjoy, such as my Pumpkin Banana Muffins. 

About a month ago, my son started enjoying feeding himself more than having us feed him purees.  I got tired of having him knock the baby spoon full of food out of my hand (messy!), so I let him have his way and feed himself (also messy!).  Fresh fruit like bananas, strawberries and mango cut in little pieces are easy for him to pick up and eat.  He also likes cheese, bread, peas, green beans, etc. 

The only problem I had was figuring out how to get my baby to eat the infant baby cereal my son’s pediatrician recommended that he have at least once a day (twice a day before he started eating meat).  She stressed that the infant cereal is an important source of iron for babies, so I knew I shouldn’t just stop giving him this cereal just because he’d moved past purees. 

I searched Pinterest for baby led weaning recipes that incorporated baby cereal, but I just couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for.  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?  So, I made up this baby cookie recipe. 

What makes this recipe perfect for baby led weaning is that it uses baby cereal instead of flour, and there’s no sugar.  The cookies get their sweetness from bananas, my son’s favorite food.  In fact, I think they taste a lot like banana bread. 

My son absolutely loves these cookies.  My husband and I even have a hard time staying out of them! 

When my pediatrician asked if I was giving my son baby cereal, I told her about these cookies.  She loved the idea, stressing again how important the baby cereal is for iron.  She even asked for the recipe!

These cookies are great to bring with you on outings for a quick, healthy snack or meal for your baby.  They can be a little messy since they’re soft.  I’ve found that it helps to break them into pieces for your baby if you want to keep his/her hands from getting too sticky.

I’ve had trouble getting a good picture of my son eating a cookie since he devours them so quickly.  I hope your little ones enjoy these cookies just as much as we do.

Just one final note: before making these cookies for your baby, make sure your son/daughter is not allergic to any of these ingredients.  Also consult your pediatrician about the appropriate age for you to introduce eggs and nut butter.  I had the go-ahead on those ingredients before creating this recipe.

Baby’s First Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen small cookies

2 bananas, mashed
½ tsp baking soda
1 c Gerber multigrain baby cereal (or your little one’s favorite baby cereal)
2 eggs
1 tbsp butter, softened
¼ cup natural peanut butter, almond butter or your favorite nut butter
½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mush the bananas, baking soda, and baby cereal together with a fork.  Add the eggs and incorporate thoroughly.  Add the butter, nut butter and vanilla extract.  The dough should be mushy and thinner than regular cookie dough.

Drop the dough on the cookie sheets in small mounds.  Mine are maybe about a heaping half teaspoon.  I make them small since they’re for a baby, but you can do whatever size you feel is best for your little one.

Bake for about 7 minutes or until set but still soft.  The time will depend on your oven and the size of your cookies.  It’s always best to check them early and add time than risk over baking them.  Maybe try 5 minutes and check it, adding a minute each time until your desired consistency.  Mine are usually a little brown on the bottom and hardly look cooked on top.

Let the cookies cool completely and loosen them from the parchment paper.  Try one.  It should melt in your mouth.  You should be able to mush them up just with your tongue, which is important if you baby doesn’t have (many) teeth yet. 

You can leave the cookies on the counter for a couple days, but if you plan to make them ahead, they maintain their softness in the refrigerator, freeze well and defrost quickly.

Happy eating!