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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla; beat until combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder. Beat as much of the flour mixture into the butter mixture as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture. Stir in chocolate pieces. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. If desired, roll balls in chopped almonds. Place balls 1-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press thumb into the center of each ball to make an indent.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set. Immediately use the rounded side of a 1-teaspoon measure to press down the center of each cookie. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Spoon Raspberry Ganache into center of each cookie. Let stand 1-1/2 to 2 hours or chill about 15 minutes or until set. If desired, garnish each cookie with a fresh raspberry. Makes about 56 cookies.
From the Test Kitchen
Layer plain cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, if frozen, before serving. Or, store filled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl combine chopped (70 percent cocoa) dark chocolate, whipping cream, and jam, if desired. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 1 minute. Stir until melted. If desired, add 1 tablespoon raspberry liqueur. Stir until smooth. Let stand until slightly thickened (about 15 minutes). Makes 1 cup.