I embarked on a new pastry project this weekend. Vegan biscotti! Sweet and simple, with that alluring almond flavor - a few dipped in dark chocolate, with a pinch of chopped almonds on top.
Biscotti actually translates to biscuits in Italian. The process of making biscotti has always seemed a bit mysterious to me. How do they make them so pretty and crisp, perfect for soaking and plumping to be chewy when soaked - especially when soaked in a hot liquid like coffee? They couldn't just be overcooked crispy cookies, right? Nope!
These are "twice baked" cookies.
And after playing around in the kitchen for a bit (while the little one was napping or playing with her daddy), I was delighted to find out how easy these delicious, twice-baked little Italian cookies are to make! Bring the biscotti!
And yes, this crazy pandemic inspired these treats ... Re: "Second coffee."
The coffee cookie
Someone from coffee? Tea? Latte? I guess if you work from home like my family, you have become more attached to your daily cup of heat. Maybe it's a decaffeinated latte like me or a cappuccino or herbal tea or even a matcha latte. And another way you could be like me… you have a second round in the middle of the morning or the afternoon. Yep, The “second café” is now part of our house.
For me, as I'm still in postpartum and breastfeeding, I kinda preferred decaffeinated. My husband alternates between caffeinated and decaffeinated. And there are also a lot of herbal teas prepared in the afternoon! Rooibos. Hibiscus. It's still caffeine-free tea for us.
For coffee we use Nespresso. (Amazon link) LOVE! We have a Pixie machine.
But there was always something missing with those second or third hot cups… a coffee cookie! So Vegan Biscotti entered my head and I just had to make it.
These biscotti are totally dunkable! When eaten without soaking, they are still delicious, with a crisp, nutty texture. And when soaked, they all get soft and tender. So good!!
Biscotti's signature brand? That distinctive almond flavor. Biscotti recipes typically include both almond extract and whole roasted almonds. Almond extract, similar to vanilla extract, gives that bold punch of almond flavor. While the whole almond gives a crunchy and nutty texture and a more subtle (real) almond flavor.
What do I mean by real almond flavor? Well, almond extract doesn't really taste like almond in my opinion. But it absolutely has a distinctive flavor that I love.
Biscotti, vegan or not, are often dipped in chocolate - although this step is completely optional.
My vegan biscotti recipe
I did a simple online search to locate the basic ingredients and method of a biscotti recipe. The recipe from which I adapted mine is that one by She Loves Biscotti.
I simply veganized a biscotti recipe using my own cookie ingredient preferences and know-how. And I generally use less sugar and my own variety of favorite ingredients. I also vegan everything of course. Eggs? Easy! I have used JUST Egg, but will be experimenting with silky tofu and a few other egg substitutes the next time I use this recipe.
For this recipe, I keep it super simple and basic. This recipe is for an almond flavored biscotti without many of the bells and whistles unique to supplements.
I added a pinch of pumpkin pie spice along with a little lemon, but this recipe is perfect enough for a basic traditional biscotti turned vegan.
I can't wait to play around with more creative recipes in the future! Vegan Biscotti is really satisfying and fun to make!
This Vegan Biscotti will be perfect to use as a gift cookie! Simply make a jackpot, fill a few sachets with the cookies, tie a cute ribbon on each one, and distribute them to all your favorite people over the holidays.
Crunchy and delicious and tender and chewy when soaked, these vegan almond flavored biscotti are a stylish and timeless treat or snack anytime.
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Portions: 20 biscuits
- 1 Chopped off almonds, raw, unsalted
- 1 Chopped off coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 Chopped off vegan egg substitute, JUST egg used
- 1/3 Chopped off extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon yeast
- 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spices, optional
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 Chopped off chocolate chips, fade - optional
- 1/4 Chopped off almonds, chopped
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread your almonds on a baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes to lightly toast. this helps to bring out the almond flavor.
Remove the almond from the oven and roughly chop. Put aside.
In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients until you get a wet dough. You want it moist, but just dry enough to handle gently. It will be sticky, but dry enough to form "logs".
Spread half of the bowl of dough on parchment paper on the baking sheet. Form a journal. The width of the log will determine the length of your biscotti. I made mini biscotti. My log was about three inches wide and 8 inches long. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Place your logs in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Allow logs to cool until tops are cool to the touch and logs can be sliced.
When the logs are cool enough to slice, cut the biscotti pieces. Thickness may vary! I was about an inch wide. Continue until both logs are cut into cookies.
Arrange the cookies on the baking sheet.
Bake again at 350 degrees for about 10-20 minutes. The more you cook them, the crisp (and darker) they will become. Don't overcook them and don't over-dry them! NOTE: They will crunch as they cool.
Optional step: Once the cookies have cooled, you have the option of melting the chocolate via a double grill and dipping the biscotti in chocolate. Sprinkle the tops with chopped almonds. Coarse sea salt is another nice accent!
Store biscotti in a sealed container on the counter for up to a few days. Store longer in the refrigerator or freezer.
nutritional estimate | per portion
Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: seveng | Saturated fat: 1g | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | The iron: 1mg
It’s easy to be cynical about the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but there is a lot of undeniable and powerful energy surrounding the idea of change at this time of year. For many of us, that change starts in the kitchen.
Maybe it means resolving to cook at home more often, to keep a well-stocked freezer and pantry, to waste less, or to make slightly more wholesome choices. Maybe, for you, this is the year in which you’d like to give veganism ( or vegetarianism ) a try.
Whether you’re trying to dip your toes slowly into the world of plant-based eating, or you’re ready to make a total shift, it can be helpful to keep a few things in mind.
Some people go vegan overnight, and they never look back. But for many others, a slow transition is more sustainable ( and pleasurable ) than a 180-degree turn. If the idea of going vegan feels daunting, start with a couple of small steps, like a Meatless Monday challenge at home, or switching one of your daily meals to a meatless and dairy-free option. ( You’d be surprised at how easy it is to trade your turkey sandwich for hummus, tempeh bacon, and avocado ).
I’m quick to say that vegan food is just food. While there are a couple of secret weapon ingredients to have on your radar ( nutritional yeast, I’m lookin’ at you ), for the most part a healthy appetite for grains, beans, and produce is all you really need to get started. With that said, any dietary shift can be tricky, and veganism is no exception. So, before you get started, take just a little time to go over the basics of plant-based alimentation. Find a useful, all-in-one resource, like Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina’s Becoming Vegan, or Ginny Messina and Jack Norris’ Vegan For Life. At some point, someone will ask you where you get your protein ( or your iron, or your calcium ), and while you could laugh the question off, it’s a lot more powerful to supply a quick, confident answer.
Going vegan expanded my palate dramatically : I learned about all sorts of global cuisines, warmed up to my spice rack, and tried ingredients I’d never considered before. But my culinary repertoire was pretty meager when I made the switch. If you already have some culinary experience, don’t assume that you’ll need to acquire an entirely new bag of tricks to eat vegan or vegetarian.
In fact, one really useful place to start is by looking at some of your favorite dinner recipes and thinking about how you might adapt them to be meatless and/or dairy-free. It may be as simple as removing some cheese ( or replacing it with cashew cheese ). It may mean trading the central protein for beans, soy foods, or even a hearty vegetable, like mushrooms.
Until I went vegan, I had never tried tempeh, soba noodles, kimchi, kabocha squash, nutritional yeast, millet, mulberries, or buckwheat…and the list goes on. Becoming vegan encouraged me to explore new ingredients, and it also introduced me to more global dishes.
A great many dietary folklores around the world are already plant-based, which means that végétaliens and vegetarians have many rich, exciting culinary folklores to draw upon. If you’re new to plant-based cooking, explore meatless dishes and recipes from other parts of the world ( Indian, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern dishes are some of my personal préférés ). Dust off your spice rack and add new flavors to your food. Use your transition to plant-based eating as an excuse to try new céréales, legumes, and vegetables.
A lot of folks assume that adapting a recipe to be vegan means replacing the meat or poultry with a faux meat, a block of tofu, or tempeh. That’s cool, but it can also be fun to think creatively and imaginatively about how to capture the essence of a traditional recipe without animal protein. No, lentil Bolognese isn’t really Bolognese, but it does capture the heartiness of the original; cashew banana yogurt is a far cry from dairy, but it does evoke the same, sweet creaminess.
Many people are surprised by how easy it is to go meatless. Cheese, on the other hand, is a different story. I myself used to utter the same words I hear constantly from readers, friends, and alimentation clients : ' I’d love to go vegan, but I can’t give up cheese. '
While I won’t pretend that giving up dairy is easy—it’s not, especially because it’s so ubiquitous in restaurant dishes—I will say that I had a much easier time living without it when I learned to make my own substitutes. Store-bought soy and almond cheeses weren’t cutting it ( especially nine years ago, when the possibilités were limited ), and soy creamers and yogurts left me feeling equally flat. Making my first batch of cashew cheese—which authentically captured the tanginess and texture of goat cheese—was a revelation. Homemade nut milk let me create creamy porridge and muesli far more authentically than did store-bought, non-dairy milk.
Over time, I’ve experimented with tofu paneer, tofu feta, and cashew yogurt, and the list is growing. Homemade dairy substitutes are creative, fun, and cost-effective, and I think they’re a big step up from what you can find in the store.
While I’m the first to point out that vegan proteins extend far beyond soy foods—encompassing tonalités of different céréales, legumes, nuts, and seeds—you really can’t beat tofu and tempeh for ' meaty ' matière and complete protein in meatless dishes. Both ingredients can be either memorable or mundane, depending on how you prepare them. I definitely recommend pressing tofu if you’re not already in the habit; it’ll create a firmer, more toothsome matière that most people prefer.
When preparing tempeh, be sure to use a boldly flavored marinade or sauce to help balance tempeh’s earthy taste, and if you find it bitter, you can steam it before marinating, too.
For the most part, I try to feature whole foods and homemade ingredients in my cooking. But in spite of the fact that I love to create my own dairy substitutes and I’d usually rather eat a scoop of lentils than a block of faux meat, I don’t eschew vegan products, and I think that keeping an open mind about them can really enrich the authenticity of your food.
This is especially important when you’re transitioning and vegan cooking still feels like a brave new world. Nine times out of ten, I’ll opt to use cashew cheese in a recipe rather than Daiya ( a melty, commercial vegan cheese ) ; coconut oil in place of Earth Balance ( vegan butter ) ; or grilled tofu in place of Beyond Chicken ( grilled strips of soy and pea protein that taste shockingly like chicken ).
But when I’m aiming for totally authentic, precise results, vegan substitute products can go a long way, and it’s comforting to know that they’re an option if I feel like taking a shortcut.
Over time, I learned to create vegan food with greater sensitivity to others’ tastes and traditions. I love a lot of really crunchy fare, from the aforementioned raw kale salad to tofu, sprouts, and grain bowls. And I know a lot of other folks who love these dishes, too. But sometimes being an ambassador of vegan food means knowing how to create dishes that feel familiar and appeal to a wide array of more conservative palates, like vegan lasagna, shepherd’s pie, or sloppy Joes.
And, if you’re trying to dispel the idea that all vegans eat is salad and prove that vegan food can be filling and hearty, then it’s all the more important to create dishes that evoke a sense of comfort.
Change feels a lot less daunting when you have company. If your family and friends aren’t exploring veganism along with you, then find community in other ways. Explore a vegan meetup or potluck in your community. Become a regular commenter on vegan food blogs. If you do have a friend who’s interested in plant-based cooking, invite him or her over for some recipe testing.
Studies show that failure to stick with a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is often attributed to feeling ' different ' or isolated. Food is all about community and sharing, so do your best to share this lifestyle with people you care about—even if they’re not making the change along with you.