Toasted, chopped almonds and plenty of almond extract give these vegan biscotti a distinct holiday aroma. Be sure to wet your hands while shaping the logs of dough to prevent it sticking to your hands. Once baked, do as the recipe’s Justine Hernandez does and dip them in coffee while watching holiday movies.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the almonds out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the almonds cool. Roughly chop the nuts, then measure out 1/2 cup and reserve in a small bowl. Meanwhile, place the ground flax meal in a small bowl and stir in 6 tablespoons of warm tap water; let stand until hydrated, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, the olive oil, both extracts and orange zest. Then add the flax meal mixture and whisk until everything is smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the dough forms. Fold in the remaining chopped almonds.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the cookie dough in half, then place one half on half of the baking sheet and shape it into a 14-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide and 1/2-inch-thick log. Repeat with the other dough half, keeping the logs separated by at least 4 inches. The dough will be slightly sticky, so dampen your fingers with cold water from time to time to help you shape the logs.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake the logs, rotating once halfway through, until lightly browned at the edges and set, about 30 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookie logs cool for 10 minutes; keep the oven on.
Transfer each log to a cutting board and use a serrated knife to cut each log at an angle into 3/4- to 1-inch-thick slices. Return the cookie slices to the baking sheet, cut side up and spaced 1/2-inch apart, and bake again for 6 minutes. Flip each cookie over and bake until lightly browned on both sides, about 6 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce: Melt the vegan buttery sticks in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and stir until it’s evenly moistened. Stir in the coconut milk and maple syrup, then attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 235 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pot from heat, and stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour the caramel sauce into a heatproof glass liquid measuring cup, Mason jar or other tall vessel.
Dip the cooled cookies into the caramel sauce so they’re half-submerged, then lift to allow any excess caramel to drain. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack to set, rewarming the caramel as needed to coat all the cookies. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel-covered halves of the biscotti. Sprinkle the reserved chopped almonds over the caramel and chocolate while still wet. Let stand until the caramel and chocolate harden before serving.
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