Vegan Pepitas Biscotti are crispy, lavish and easy to make with healthy almonds and seed varieties. Perfect to fill the cookie jar!
If I can dunk a cookie in my cup of coffee, I am in my happy place. One of my favorites to enjoy this way is Italian-style biscotti. I could never turn down a classic Almond Biscotto — yes, the singular term for biscotti — though I would not be able to resist a second one! Crisp, yet tender enough to bite through with bits of deliciousness just ready to be savored.
A good biscotti dough can be dressed up in a wonder of ways. I have baked these cookies with freshly picked succulent berries, which adds a slight bite of sharpness, or studded the dough with bits of smooth chocolate. Both are equally marvelous, but since we are in autumn season here in the south have I decided to go for something a little more robust, rather cosmopolitan.
This biscotti recipe is a twist on my beloved Almond Biscotti recipe, where I replaced the organic butter for seed oil shortening and incorporate vegan chia “eggs”, as in my Vegan Blueberry Chia Muffins, instead of the free-range eggs.
Since I am passionate about a harmonious blend of flavors, did I mix the dough with tastes that compliment both almonds and chia. But before we jump into these healthy details, let’s have a look at some answers first.
The Italian word biscotti derives from the Latin word for “twice baked”. In Italy, biscotti refers to a variety of biscuits. Outside Italy, the most popular style of biscotti is biscotti di Prato, or cantucci. This is the classic crisp, hard, somewhat oval cookie that is dipped. Enjoy this with coffee, tea or Vin Santo, a luscious Italian sweet wine and cantucci’s known accompaniment.
This classic biscuit is famous for its texture. Crisp, yet tender, and holds well when dunked. The basic dough is pretty simple, so it is really the sprinkles that give biscotti its flavor. For a classic biscotti, fold in almonds or change it up with gorgeous pistachios. Dried fruit such as healthy cranberries, give the cookie a softer finish. Lemon zest adds a pleasant freshness.
The core of typical cantucci is flour, sugar, and whole eggs. The eggs and sugar are whipped until light and fluffy, to which the rest of the ingredients are gently folded in. Butter, or oil, yields a richer and softer cookie. The butter is first creamed together with the sugar. This gives the dough more stability, which makes it easier to handle, especially when you are new to biscotti making.
What you will need to make great Vegan Pepitas Biscotti dipped in Chocolate//
This biscotti recipe is full of earthy flavors and texture, a fantastic snack that is easy to like and nutritiously wholesome.
- All-purpose flour or cake flour, unbleached
- Almonds, flaked or whole
- Almond extract (optional)
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Chia seeds, ground or whole
- Dairy-free butter or shortening
- Dark chocolate (70%)
- Light brown sugar, organic and vegan
- Pepitas or hulled pumpkin seeds
- Poppy and/ or sesame seeds
- Vanilla extract
I sought most of these ingredients at a nearby health shop, opting for what is local, but have also noticed them at a general retailer. The star item, together with the almonds, are the pepitas or hulled pumpkin seeds. These seeds are fantastic to add to cookie dough, as it is rich in antioxidants and adds that extra healthy munch. It contains carotenoids and vitamin E, which is known to help reduce inflammation.
How to make Vegan Pepitas Biscotti dipped in Chocolate//
Time needed: 1 hour.
Follow these simple steps to enjoy wonderful biscotti coated in a shiny drizzle of chocolate.
- Make the chia “egg”
Spoon the chia seeds in a small bowl, then add the warm water and stir. Vegan eggs must always be prepared just before use. Allow the mixture to thicken for about 10 – 15 minutes. Ground chia seeds will gelatinize faster.
- Combine the dough
Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F). Line a sheet pan with baking paper or Silpat.
In a large bowl, cream together the dairy-free butter and sugar. Add the chia “eggs” and mix well. Stir in the almonds and seed varieties. Lastly, sift the dry ingredients and fold gently into the creamed mixture. The dough will come together easily but will be sticky.
Turn the dough out onto the prepared baking paper, or Silpat, and press oblong in the shape of a log about 4cm (1.5″) wide. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until slightly golden. The biscotti should feel firm but somewhat soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 – 20 minutes.
Transfer the biscotti to a cutting board and decrease the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F). Slice the biscotti in diagonal pieces of about 1.5cm (0.5″) thick using a serrated knife.
Place the cookies back on the tray, cut side down. Bake five – 10 minutes, or until lightly colored, then turn and bake again. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate
The most useful way to melt dark chocolate properly at home is the “seeding method“. First, place three-quarters of the chocolate in a microwave dish, then melt at intervals of a few seconds, stirring often. Once melted, drop in the reserved chocolate and stir. This will cool the chocolate, essentially tempering it. Dark chocolate is tempered between 30 – 32°C.
Dip the ends of the cooled biscotti and place on a baking sheet to set. Alternatively, drizzle the chocolate playfully over the biscuits.
Tips on Vegan Pepitas Biscotti dipped in Chocolate//
Pumpkin seeds are a healthful addition to this recipe, therefore perfect as a snack on spring hikes or as a treat on cooler days. If you would like to make a nut-free biscotti, then simply omit the almonds and replace (by weight) either with dried fruit or more seeds.
Biscotti keeps well in an airtight container and the dough can also be prepared ahead of time. Simply freeze the logs until needed, then thaw in the fridge overnight, or two hours before baking at room temperature.
Biscotti can be dunked into a warm drink or it can be served as part of a dessert. Poached fruit, natural yogurt and biscotti is a great brunch treat, or sprinkle this cookie over your favorite ice cream.
VEGAN PEPITAS BISCOTTI
***Cup/ spoon measures in notes below.
- 115 g dairy-free butter or shortening, 5g almond extract, 5g vanilla extract, 2 chia "eggs" (see notes)
- 150 g light brown sugar, 50g almonds, 50g pepitas, 25g sesame and/ or poppy seeds
- 250 g cake flour, 6g baking powder, 2g baking soda, 1g salt
- 100 g dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
- In a large bowl, cream together the dairy-free butter and sugar. Add the chia “eggs” and mix well. Stir in the almonds, extracts and seed varieties. Lastly, sift the dry ingredients and fold in gently.
- Transfer the biscotti to a cutting board and decrease the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F). Slice the biscotti in diagonal pieces of about 1.5cm (0.5") thick.
- Place the cookies back on the tray, cut side down. Bake five – 10 minutes, or until lightly colored, then turn and bake again. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Temper the chocolate using the "seeding method". Dip the ends of the cooled biscotti in and place on a baking sheet to set.
*Please note: Ingredient densities can vary between brands, therefor, for accurate measuring I recommend using a scale.