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.