Look no further for the ultimate dunking cookies. These are Italian classics, baked twice so they’ll stand up to every beverage, from red wine to hot chocolate.
Don’t slice the cookies too thin after the first baking—they need to be somewhat thick so they can dry out without falling apart during the second go-round in the oven.
MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN COOKIES
2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting the work surface
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Position the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
2. Place 1⁄2 cup of the flour and the chopped chocolate in a food processor or a mini food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse a few times, then process until powdery, but not until the fat in the chocolate liquefies and the mixture becomes a paste. Transfer this chocolate powder to a medium bowl and whisk in the remaining 2 cups flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until uniformly colored. Set aside.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, until satiny, thick, and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the melted butter and vanilla until smooth. Turn off the beaters, add the flour mixture, and then beat at low speed just until a crumbly but still moist dough forms.
4. Lightly dust a clean, dry work surface with flour. Turn the dough out and knead 10 or 12 times to get it to cohere into a single mass. Divide in half and form each into a log about 6 inches long. Flatten each log into an oval cylinder about 11⁄2 inches high at its apex. Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the tops are cracked and dry. Cool on the baking sheet until the logs are easily handled, about 30 minutes. Maintain the oven’s temperature.
6. Transfer the logs to a cutting board and slice into 1⁄2-inch thick cookies. If you slice on the diagonal, you’ll have longer cookies; a serrated knife will work best to keep the dough from crumbling. Transfer the cut cookies to the baking sheet, still lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat, placing them, cut side down, about 1⁄4 inch apart.
7. Bake for another 10 minutes, then turn the cookies over to the other cut side and bake for about 10 more minutes, or until firm and lightly toasted. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. (Do not cool the cookies on the baking sheet or they will steam and lose their crunch.)
1 week at room temperature
3 months in the freezer once baked
Place 12 ounces bittersweet, semisweet, milk, or white chocolate in the top half of a double boiler set over simmering water, or a medium bowl set over a saucepan with a small amount of simmering water; stir until half the chocolate has melted, then remove from the heat and continue stirring until all the chocolate has melted. Cool for 5 minutes. Dip the cooled biscotti into the chocolate, then place the cookies on a wire rack set over wax paper for about 30 minutes until the chocolate coating hardens.
Before the coating hardens, you can sprinkle 1⁄2 cup chopped crystallized ginger, chopped pecans, chopped pistachios, crushed Heath bars, nonpareils, or sliced almonds over the cookies.