When I began developing this recipe I was thinking about ways to ratchet up the vanilla flavor. Tuaca came to mind. The idea behind Tuaca is Tuscan (Livorno) but what I learned was that the aperitif you buy in the store is actually made and bottled in Louisville, KY. Hence “Bluegrass”. But biscotti are authentically Tuscan and done in somewhat different variations. While this recipe only calls for a small amount of Tuaca you will need the rest of the bottle for dipping your little biscotto. —pierino
Using a dry skillet, over medium flame toast the almonds until they just begin to smell fragrant. Allow the almonds to cool and then using a food processor, pulse them into small pieces.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a second bowl, using a whisk , combine the eggs and Tuaca and whip together.
Add the egg mix to the flour mix and using a flat wooden spoon work into a dough. This doesn’t take long. Incorporate the chopped almonds into the dough. Have some bench flour available for your hands because this dough is sticky.
Line a sheet pan with parchment or better still with a silicon Silpat baking sheet. Form the dough into two loaves about 1 1/4 inch thick and place them on the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top*.
Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 300F.
Using a pastry knife or sharp chef’s knife slice the loaves on a diagonal across the width. Each diagonal slice should be about 1 inch. Arrange the slices back on the sheet pan with a cut side facing up. Bake for about another 20 minutes.
Have your Tuaca ready for dipping.
*Note to cook: keep in mind that your oven, no matter what it reads on the dial, may not be calibrated like mine.
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.