Among the typical Umbrian Christmas sweets there is one with a very particular shape: the torciglione. Its origins are still uncertain: some argue that the shape is that of a lake eel, others that of a snake. Regardless of its history, it is a dessert famous throughout the region, of which there are different versions that can vary in dosage or for the presence or absence of certain ingredients, but above all for the final decorations, which leave a lot of room for creativity.
Pour the peeled and chopped almonds into a bowl, add the sugar, lemon peel and vanilla and mix well. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt and add them to the almonds gently, mixing with a spoon and then working the mixture until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.
At this point divide it into two parts (to make two twists) and proceed by shaping each part by stretching it with your hands, until it is shaped like a snake.
Arrange the twist on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and finish to your liking, making small cuts to give the "scales" effect. We have inserted a whole almond in each cut, a red cherry to make the tongue and two coffee beans for the eyes… you give free rein to your imagination!
Let it rest for 30 minutes, covering the pan with a cotton cloth and then bake in the oven at 140 ° for about 35 minutes, until lightly browned.