Although eggs and milk are typically used to make biscotti, some recipes can be modified to work with a diet that omits foods derived from animals. Vegan biscotti usually contains at least one substitute for these moistening ingredients. Applesauce, tofu, vegetable oil, soy or almond milk, and ground flax seed may be used to achieve a taste, color, and texture similar to traditional biscotti. Fruit, vegan chocolate, spices, or flavored extracts may also be added to the recipe for a more complex flavor.
Biscotti is a type of Italian cookie that is frequently served with coffee. It is usually crisp and sweet, and may be infused with a variety of flavors. Since biscotti is not meant to be soft, the absence of eggs and dairy is not usually noticeable, and substituting vegan ingredients often doesn't significantly affect the texture.
Many vegan cookbooks contain recipes for biscotti, and many traditional biscotti recipes can be adapted for a vegan diet. Most ingredients used in all types of biscotti are already vegan, like flour, sugar, nuts, spices, and extracts. Traditional recipes usually call for some combination of eggs, milk, and butter, however, to keep the cookies from becoming too dry or from burning during baking. Vegan biscotti variations usually closely follow traditional recipes, except they replace the liquid or soft ingredients with non-animal alternatives that are similar in texture.
A biscotti recipe that calls for butter can typically be made vegan by substituting canola or vegetable oil, or margarine. Ground flax seed, whisked in soy or almond milk, is often used in favor of eggs. Flax seed gives vegan biscotti a desirable golden color, and it contains healthy antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that would otherwise be provided by whole eggs. For a heavier biscotti, flax seed may be combined with pureed tofu, resulting in an egg alternative that is similar in texture to eggs that have been whipped with butter. Applesauce may also be scooped into vegan biscotti batter for a sweet flavor and somewhat softer texture.
Vegan biscotti recipes can be modified depending on the occasion for which they are being baked, or the preferences of the baker. Nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, may be mixed into the batter for added crunch, and dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins may provide extra flavor. Vegan chocolate may be purchased or made, and added to biscotti batter in small chunks or chips. Some bakers may sprinkle course-grain sugar over the biscotti immediately after removing it from the oven, for a pleasant tasting topping without the need for butter.