Until I was 30, or maybe it was 40, I loved very chocolaty desserts that oozed chocolate or exploded chocolate. I though chocolate fountains were a not-bad idea. But lately I've hankered for a more subtle relationship to chocolate. This cookie is a densely cakey one, on the not -too-sweet side; black pepper and dried cherries, as well as a bit more salt than usual, seem to make grownups more aware of the chocolate's charms. This means you don't go into a coma if you eat more than one. Add a few extra chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) if you have kids around. —EmilyNunn
Position oven rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350. Lightly grease a cookie sheet, or use a Silpat mat. In a small bowl combine flour, salt, pepper, cocoa; whisk until thoroughly mixed. Stir in chopped dried cherries. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and white sugar on medium speed until fluffy; beat in brown sugar, egg; continue beating until well blended.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, 1/3 at a time, blending thoroughly with each addition. Stir in chocolate chips/pieces by hand. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour, at least.
Form dough into 1 -inch balls (about a heaping tablespoon) and place on cookie sheet (one dozen should fit); press down to flatten, since cookies won't spread much. You want small cookies, here. Bake 12 minutes; cool on cookie sheet.