Someone brought me these from Naples, and I've been looking at replicating them for a while. I hunted around a bit, and then combined a couple of recipes, and I think it's not too far off how they should be... More or less this:
Toast about 85 grams of whole almonds (in the oven, or I use a dry frying pan on medium heat) just until they smell nice and start to colour and ping a bit. Save twelve almonds, and chop the rest coarsely, not into a powder.
Into a food processor, put 250 gr bread flour, 1/2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp coarsely-ground black pepper, and 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast. Whizz until blended.
Add 100 gr of cold lard, cut into cubes (note: I used the ordinary supermarket stuff, but apparently "good" lard would make a difference). Pulse until it's a fine meal, as though you were making pie dough. With the food processor running, drizzle in 90 ml of water until the dough forms.
Turn onto the work surface and knead in the chopped almonds, continue for four or five minutes until you have an even dough. Form into a ball, put into a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave it for an hour or two, but it won't rise much.
Line a large baking sheet with non-stick parchment.
Cut each of your 12 remaining almonds in half.
Turn the dough out and knead it through. Divide into 24 equal pieces. Work each piece and then form it into a rope about 8 inches long. For each tarallo, pinch two of these together at one end and then twist together in a helix, form into a ring and pinch the other end closed. Lay each one on the parchment-covered baking sheet. Stick a couple of almond halves into each ring, pressing in well but leaving to show.
Cover with a cloth and leave another hour or two. They still wqn't rise much, and you will wonder why you bothered.
Heat oven to about 200C (400F). Put them in the oven, and turn it down to about 190C (375F). Bake about 35 minutes until they are a light brown colour. Remove from oven and let them cool. Then put them back in the oven at about 130C for another 10 or 15 minutes to dry out some more -- the aim is for a crunchy texture,sort of like breadsticks. Cool on a wire rack.
Try not to eat them all at once.