These vegan cherry chocolate almond biscotti will make you fall in love. Not only are they vegan and gluten-free, they're also completely grain-free and can be made nut-free, too. Allergy friendly nature aside, these biscotti are just downright delicious.
This biscotti recipe is based off the Power Biscotti recipe in my cookbook (←affiliate link). That recipe is still, to date, the one I'm most proud of out of all the recipes I've ever written—book, blog, or otherwise and totaling nearly a thousand at this point.
When the seed-based flour concept proved successful during my recipe trials, it revolutionized the way I thought about baked goods.
It even won the praises of vegan recipe mastermind and fellow blogging friend, Angela Liddon. For those of you who don't own my cookbook, you can snag the original Power Biscotti recipe at the end of Angela's review post.
Angela's description of the original recipe perfectly sums it up:
Upon first bite, I wasn't too sure about the subtle flavor, but as my taste buds adjusted for the reduced sweetness (compared to traditional biscotti), I came to love this healthified version and found myself reaching for it non-stop.
This new, nut-based twist is just as addictive, crunchy, and praise-worthy as the original. Plus, it gets an (optional) chocolate dunk which both ups the sweetness and leaves these biscotti teetering elegantly between the realms of breakfast and dessert.
For those of you familiar with Dan's recipe rating system, you know he dishes out the high praises sparingly. And so you'll be thrilled to hear that this recipe earned a perfect 10 from him.
I believe only four or five of my recipes have ever scored a 10.
Dan's also not typically one to seek out sweets. He's much more of a salads and savory kind of guy.
I can rarely count on him to help consume dessert-ish testing leftovers, and so I usually send my mom home with sweets at the end of her weekly Wednesday visits.
But when I went to give these away, Dan quickly intervened, "Oh no! I want those. You can give her some... maybe four, but I want the rest."
Well, alright then. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner...
Given that this recipe uses ground nuts as the base and is quite a bit different than traditional biscotti recipes, I've included photos wherever possible (and useful).
If you're one who's easily annoyed by too many photos, I apologize, but step-by-step photos can be especially helpful with alternative baking recipes. Do feel free to hit the "jump to recipe" button at the top of the post—it'll shoot you straight down to the goods.
Where were we...
Ah, yes. The recipe. To make these biscotti, you'll whisk together a bit of ground flaxseed and water to create a flax egg.
Let the mixture stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened into a "goopy", egg-like consistency.
While the flaxseed mixture thickens, grind two cups of raw almonds (or sunflower seeds for nut-free) into a fine meal/coarse flour. A food processor works best for this, but you can use a high-speed blender in a pinch.
Here's a before and after pic for you to reference:
Once the "flour" is made, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and add a bit of arrowroot starch and salt. The arrowroot (along with the flax egg) binds the biscotti together, so be sure to include it.
Next, stir in dried montmorency (i.e., tart) cherries, cacao nibs (optional), and sliced almonds (or pepitas for nut-free).
To the flax egg, add a bit of pure maple syrup and vanilla extract, and whisk until combined.
Pour the flax egg mixture over the almond flour mixture and use a spoon to mix until combined.
Initially, it will seem like there isn't enough liquid, but just stir and stir (and even mash a bit) until it's evenly dispersed throughout like so...
Next, transfer the "dough" to a lined cookie sheet, and divide it into two equal mounds.
Use your hands (lightly dampening them with water as needed) to shape and compact each mound of dough into two, tightly packed rectangles.
Each should be about 4 inches wide x 6 inches long x (just shy of) 1 inch thick.
Bake at 350F for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms are golden-brown and each log feels well-set.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes. During this time, you'll also drop the oven temperature to 275F.
Once the biscotti rectangles have cooled a bit, slice them widthwise into ¾-inch-thick slices. It's best to press straight down on the biscotti using a sharp knife (avoid using a sawing motion).
You'll have 16 biscotti, each of which should be about 4 inches in length. Place them on the lined pan sliced-side-down.
Bake for 14 to 18 minutes. Then, flip and bake for another 14 to 18 minutes.
Slow and steady is the route to perfectly crisp, golden-brown biscotti.
They should look like this when they're done baking...
While the biscotti cool, prepare the chocolate (if using) by melting a cup of non-dairy chocolate chips in a double boiler (or microwave if you prefer) until smooth and glossy.
Once the biscotti have cooled, dunk each into the melted chocolate, sprinkle with crushed almonds, and return to the parchment-lined pan to set.
Once the chocolate has firmed and set, transfer the biscotti to an airtight glass container to maintain crunchiness. FYI, a plastic container or bag can cause the biscotti to lose their crispy snap and bite.
Serve the biscotti for breakfast, snack, or dessert alongside a cup of hot coffee or glass of cold plant-based milk for dunking.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you make it, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #blissfulbasil on Instagram.
Vegan Cherry Chocolate Almond Biscotti
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 2 cups raw almonds (see recipe notes* for nut-free option)
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour/starch/powder**
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup dried montmorency (i.e. tart cherries)
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds (see recipe notes*** for nut-free option), plus more for garnishing
- 2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the ground flaxseed and water in a medium bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes to thicken into a flax egg.
- Meanwhile, add the raw almonds to a food processor and processor for 30 to 45 seconds, or until you have a coarse flour/fine meal and all of the nuts are thoroughly ground, stopping to pulse several times to ensure even processing. Be careful not to over-process or you'll end up with almond butter.
- Transfer the almond flour to a large mixing bowl, and add the arrowroot and sea salt. Whisk together until combined. Stir in the dried cherries, cacao nibs (if using), and sliced almonds.
- To the flax egg, add the pure maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. Pour over the almond flour mixture and use a large wooden spoon to mix until combined. At first it will seem like there isn't enough liquid—have faith and keep stirring until the liquid disperses evenly throughout the entire mixture.
- Turn the "dough" out onto the lined baking sheet, and divide it into two equal pieces.
- Use your hands to shape and compact the dough into 2 tightly packed rectangles. Each rectangle should be approximately 4 inches wide x 6 inches long, and just shy of 1 inch thick. If the dough is sticking to your hands, lightly dampen them with water to repel the mixture.
- Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the edges are light golden-brown and each rectangle feels well-set, yet retains a soft indentation when gently pressed. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, decrease the oven temperature to 275F.
- Once the biscotti rectangles are mostly cool, use a sharp knife to cut them widthwise into ¾-inch-thick slices, pressing straight down and rocking the knife back and forth to slice (rather than using a sawing motion). You should have 16 biscotti, 8 from each rectangle, and each should be approximately 4 inches long.
- Carefully return the biscotti to the lined baking pan, sliced-side down.
- Bake for 14 to 18 minutes. Then, use a metal spatula to carefully flip each biscotti, and bake for another 14 to 18 minutes, or until rich golden brown and crisp to the touch. They'll continue to crisp as they cool, so keep that in mind when testing for doneness.
- Carefully transfer the biscotti to a wire cooking rack. Cool completely.
- If dunking in chocolate (optional): Prepare the chocolate glaze while the biscotti cool. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or Bain Marie (or in the microwave if you prefer) until smooth and glossy, being careful not to overheat.
- Once the biscotti are cool, dunk one side of the biscotti into the chocolate and return to the parchment-lined pan. Garnish with shaved almonds (or pepitas for nut-free) if desired and let cool.
- Store the biscotti in an airtight glass container to maintain crunchiness. (Note: plastic containers or bags can cause the biscotti to lose their crispy snap and bite.)