Sundown Wednesday evening signaled the end of the Jewish High Holidays. On Yom Kippur, the somber Day of Atonement during which many Jews fast and pray, the evening ends with a festive break-the-fast dinner served at sundown. AT one Hancock Park residence, Estee Aaronson’s table is filled with traditional break-the-fast dishes, topped off by her famous cookie plates.
Guests at Aaronson’s home this year enjoyed homemade chopped herring, whitefish salad, tunafish salad and gefilte fish with horseradish, served with bagels Aaronson gets from the New York Bagel Co. in Santa Monica, or plain or raisin challah bread from Diamond Bakery. She’s also prepared grilled salmon, potato bourekas, blintz souffle, noodle kugel, baked fruit, fruit salad, and sliced tomatoes for the lox and cream cheese. Just tasting a small bit of each item fills a large dinner plate and then some!
But it’s best to save some room for dessert, Aaronson’s signature platter of cookies. This evening, Aaronson debuted a new confection she called chocolate chip brittle made with Macadamia nuts, pretzels and chocolate chips. She told the Buzz that for this latest addition to her dessert plate, she refined a recipe she’d come across that features coconut macaroons with chocolate chips, Mandel bread, banana bread, lemon squares, brownies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate Score Bar cookies, merengue, and cream puffs (which she told us she didn’t make).
Aaronson said she bakes one or two cookie recipes a day for a week, freezing them so they are fresh for holiday meal. The cookies are plated and brought to each table of guests scattered around the house and garden, so guests can linger at the table and chat. It’s a delicious way to end such a serious and somber day, while giving a sweet start to the new year.