Perfectly sweet with pockets of caramel praline surrounding toasted walnut chunks baked into the most delicious biscotti cookie - every bite reveals a gooey, crunchy surprise.
This vegan biscotti recipe is a scrumptious twist on an Italian favourite. Now the only question is to dunk or not to dunk?
Arguably the most famous dunkable cookie, this homemade biscotti recipe does not contain eggs or dairy. It's a twice-baked, slightly sweet, crunchy biscuit with gooey pockets of caramel around toasted walnut chunks. Are you drooling yet?
Serve your biscotti with this Indulgent Caramel Affogatto for a fancy dessert!
After seeing these biscotti in the breathtaking Artful Baker cookbook, I knew I had to recreate a vegan version. I couldn't be happier with the results! It's by far the best vegan biscotti cookie ever.
Let's get baking.
Ingredients for Homemade Vegan Biscotti
Butter - fat adds flavour and softness to the cookies. I like the flavour that butter adds (over oil) so I choose the best quality vegan butter I can find (Miyokos Cultured Vegan Butter).
Sugar - granulated sugar for crunchiness and sweetness.
Aquafaba - what is aquafaba you ask? It's a wonderful vegan egg replacement. It acts as a binding agent in baking much like an egg white. Aqua (water) faba (bean) is the water found in canned chickpeas (or other beans).
Catch the liquid in a container when you drain your chickpeas. Pro Tip: anytime you open chickpeas, save the aquafaba in the fridge or freezer for later use (see recipe note for more storage tips).
Vanilla Extract - I love pure vanilla extract so add a generous amount. You can cut it back to taste.
Dry Ingredients - flour, baking powder, and salt. The original recipe calls for all purpose flour which I used for this recipe; but you can likely sub another flour with good results.
Walnut Praline - the caramel-coated walnuts require an extra step that is worth every second of work! Made with only 2 ingredients (sugar and water), it's pretty easy to make the praline using a candy thermometer and a bit of patience.
The delicious result is toasted walnuts wrapped with sticky, sweet caramel!
Chocolate Drizzle & Finishing Salt - to take these vegan biscotti over the top, finish each biscuit with a drizzle of melted chocolate and a few flakes of salt (like Maldon). Optional (but is it really . . . ?)
Making Vegan Walnut Praline
The walnut praline recipe is simple. It is just sugar and water cooked in a heavy pan to ~350º F. As the water evaporates and the sugar heats up, it caramelizes and starts to change colour.
Once it starts to turn amber, the process moves quite quickly and can burn easily. So keep your eyes on the process. No stirring; however, once the caramel turns amber, I do remove from the heat and swirl the pan a few times.
Stir the praline into the toasted walnuts until completely coated. Working quickly, spread them on a prepared baking sheet in an even layer and let cool.
Once cool, chop the praline walnuts into bite-size pieces and add them to the cookie dough.
***CAUTION - extreme heat *** Do not be tempted to touch the hot caramel! Resist the urge to lick the spoon, run your finger through the pan to taste it, etc, because it will sear your skin or tongue. Trust me on this!!!!
**CAUTION - sharp shards** Once the praline walnuts have been chopped, the little shards of hard sugar can be sharp so proceed with caution when combining the praline and dough.
How to Shape Walnut Praline Biscotti
Because chopping the praline walnuts can create sharp shards, shaping is a bit more delicate than traditional Italian biscotti. Here's what I do.
- Shaping the Biscotti Log - with damp hands, shape the dough into a long log (approximately 3"x10") being mindful of the potentially sharp shards.
- Patching and Patting Stage - make a blanket of reserved dough. Think of this process as the patching and patting stage. With damp hands, evenly cover the top and sides of the log to ensure that all the praline walnuts are covered.
- The blanket of dough forms a cave to keep the caramel pools inside the cookie.
Tips for Baking Perfect Vegan Biscotti
Traditional biscotti was hard, dry, and resistant to mold. But I like a little chew in mine. I love the crunchy edge and softer, chewy center after the first bake. You control how hard, dry, crunchy your biscotti is by how thick you cut it and how long your second bake is. Play around with the oven time and see what texture you prefer.
First Bake - 350º F for ~30 minutes until golden brown and firm. Let cool completely (30 minutes) before slicing.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300º F.
Cutting Biscotti - once the cookie log is cooled, using a sharp serrated knife, cut crosswise into ~½"-¾" slices. Arrange the biscuits cut side up on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Second Bake - bake for 20-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Keep your eye on the smaller cookies. Bake longer for a drier harder (more traditional) cookie; shorter for a softer cookie.
Personal Choice - while recipe testing this vegan biscotti recipe (A LOT), I fell in love with the cookies after the first bake! They are still firm with a crispy edge but are chewier in the center. I couldn't get enough of them.
How to Store Biscotti Cookies
Biscotti lasts for about 10 days at room temperature (wrapped) making it a perfect take-along snack for travelling, hiking, camping, etc.
It can also be stored in the fridge for longer; but in that case, I suggest bringing them up to room temperature before eating!
Freezing Baked Biscotti Cookies - freeze baked biscotti cookies in an air-tight container or bag for up to 2 months.
More Delicious Vegan Desserts
Family favourite for birthdays - Decadent Chocolate Obsession Cupcakes
Epic chocolate chip marshmallow cookie cup - Marshmallow Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cups
My famous banana bread - Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
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Walnut Praline Biscotti Recipe (vegan)
- stand mixer
- candy thermometer
- 1 cup walnut halves (90 grams)
- ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar (79 grams)
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 cups all purpose flour (280 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 6 tbsp vegan butter, softened (85 grams)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 6 tbsp aquafaba
- 1 ½ tsps pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup vegan chocolate, melted
- ½ tsp coconut oil
- maldon finishing salt
Walnut Praline *extra time required to toast and cool the walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Oven rack in middle position.
- EXTRA TIME REQUIRED for walnuts to toast and cool (can be done several days in advance)Toast the walnuts in a single layer on the baking sheet for 10 - 12 minutes until toasty and golden. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Prepare the baking sheet with a parchment paper.
- Put the sugar in a medium-sized, heavy-bottom saucepan. Stir in the water and shake to level the sugar.
- Cook without stirring over medium-high heat until the caramel turns amber (about 8-12 minutes) ~350º F on a candy thermometer. *The time will vary depending on your pan and stove setting. **After the caramel starts to liquify and turn amber, I take the pan off the heat and swirl the liquid in the pan several times.
- NOTE: The original recipe calls for 383º F on an instant read thermometer. I don't have an instant read and on a standard candy thermometer that made the caramel too dark for my taste.
- Take the pan off the heat and immediately stir in the toasted walnuts using a silicone spatula. Dump onto prepared baking sheet, spreading it evenly into a single layer. Let cool completely.
Making the Dough
- Sift the flour and baking powder.
- Using a stand (or hand) mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (~3 minutes).
- Add the aquafaba and vanilla and beat until blended, scraping down the sides of he bowl as needed. It may look a little curdled (separated) but not to worry.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix on slow speed just until incorporated.
- Remove ¾ cup (195 grams) of the dough and set aside to make a blanket for the log.
- Chop the cooled praline walnuts into bite-size pieces. Stir them into the dough in the bowl.
Shaping the Biscotti Log
- Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet. With damp hands, shape the dough into a log ~3 x 10". Warning: the praline shards can be sharp so be careful when handling.
- Lightly roll and pat the reserve dough into a blanket to cover the top and sides of the log. Moisten hands and pat and patch the dough so all praline pieces are covered.
Baking the Biscotti (first bake)
- Place log into oven and bake for ~35 minutes until the top and sides of the log are golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Reduce oven temp to 300º F.
- Place the cooled log on a cutting board and using a sharp serrated knife cut into ½ - ¾" thick slices.
- Place back on the baking sheet and do a second bake for 25-30 minutes (flip ½ way). The longer the second bake, the more dry, crunchy, hard the cookies become.
- OPTIONAL - top each biscuit with chocolate drizzles and a few flakes of finishing salt.
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