When Manhattan was gritty and I was young, I was naïve enough to dive into catering, thinking my tiny kitchen and I could deliver food as good as or better than the pros. That was nearly 40 years ago, and while I no longer cater, I still turn to the shockingly good chocolate biscotti recipe that helped me deliver on that promise.

The original recipe, from “Maida Heatter’s Best Dessert Book Ever,” is biscotti cioccolato, and these cookies sport the deepest chocolate flavor of any biscotti-like treat I’ve tasted, not to mention a texture that straddles the line between perfectly crunchy and wonderfully giving.

The crunch is punctuated with lightly toasted nuts and the pleasant chewiness of fruity dried cherries. These chocolate biscotti are the stuff of caterers’ dreams: They can be prepared in advance, they don’t need refrigeration, they travel well, and they taste better than anyone else’s. These same qualities are what make these biscotti the perfect holiday treat for entertaining, gifting or just indulging. It’s why I make them year after year.

Part of what creates that delightfully tender-crunchy texture is the leavening power of baking soda and the gentle binding that comes from the eggs. The depth of chocolate flavor is due to using both cocoa powder and finely ground bar chocolate in the dough. A bit of espresso powder complements the chocolate and rounds it out, as does the vanilla extract we add alongside Heatter’s almond extract.

To intensify the chocolate flavor further, we add coarsely chopped dark chocolate to create tiny pockets of sweet, melted richness. These days, these biscotti cater to my needs.