Many food historians mention that biscotti have been around for many centuries, having been enjoyed since Pliny the Elder, before the birth of Christ. He is said to have mentioned that these hard, dry “biscuits” would last for centuries without going bad.

Whether you call them “rusks” in the British Isles, “biscotte” in France, “zwiebacks” in Germany, “biskota” or “paxemadia” in Greece, “mandelbroth” in Israel or “sukhariki” in Russia, they are enjoyed as a dunking “bread” with your hot cocoa or coffee, but were ”“ and still are in some regions ”“ dipped in Vin Santo popularly.

Triple Chocolate Biscotti

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups flour

2 ounces white chocolate, roughly chopped

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, eggs, sugar, cocoa and baking powder with a hand-held mixer or standing mixer on high ”“ about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and incorporate flour, a little at a time, until completely mixed in.

With a wooden spoon, stir in the white chocolate evenly. Divide dough into two uniform logs. Place logs onto prepared baking pan, leaving each a couple inches apart. Slightly flatten and bake 21-23 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into each log comes out clean.

Remove from oven to cool on pan for 5 minutes, reducing heat in oven to 350 degrees. Slice each log into half-inch wide slices on the bias (diagonally). Place back onto used baking pan, cut-side down, and continue cooking an additional 7 minutes to lower the moisture content. Remove from oven to completely cool.

In the meantime, place chocolate chips in a large, shallow microwave-safe bowl and cook, on high, for 30 seconds. Remove to stir. If chocolate has not completely dissolved, repeat 15 more seconds and then again if needed. Stir until smooth. Dip the bottom of each cooled biscotti slice into the melted chocolate and place back onto waxed paper-lined pan, on its side, for the chocolate to harden. If the bowl of melted chocolate isn’t large enough to dip the biscotti into, simply spoon the melted chocolate onto the bottom of each.

— Chef Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef and an authority on New England food and its history. He is a respected food columnist from Maine and is married with four children. You can email questions or comments to [email protected] and visit theyankeechef.blogspot.com.