Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chocolate Strawberry Thumbprints

I made these for my employee's birthday.  She's not really big on sweets, so I added just a pinch of extra salt to the chocolate thumbprints, for an added savory quality.  These take a little work for the assembly, but they aren't terribly complicated.  A fun, and small delicious little cookie!  You can sub any berry of your choice for the stopping.  Strawberries pair really well with the cream cheese filling. - Makes 3 dozen

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 6 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
4 ounces strawberries (about 6 medium), stemmed and finely diced

1/ Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt into a bowl.  Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth; set aside to cool.

2/ Put butter and 1/4 cup granulated sugar into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy.  Mix in yolk, vanilla, and chocolate.  Reduce speed to low.  Mix in flour mixture until just combined.  Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Put 6 teaspoons granulated sugar into a small bowl.  Form dough into 3/4-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat.  Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.  Press center of each ball with your thumb.  Bake 10 minutes.  

Press centers again with end of a wooden spoon, making 3/4-inch indentations.  Bake until slightly cracked and set, about 5 minutes more.  Cool completely on racks.  (Unfilled cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.)

4/ Stir cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a bowl.  Toss berries with remaining 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar in another bowl.  Spoon cream cheese mixture into centers of cookies; top with berries, dividing evenly.

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