Among the typical Umbrian Christmas sweets, one has a very particular shape: the torciglione.
Its origins are still uncertain: some claim 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; there are several versions that may vary in proportions or the presence or absence of certain ingredients, and especially in the final decorations, which leave a lot of room for creativity.
Shell and clean the sweet and bitter almonds and chop them together.
Then add the sugar, grated lemon peel, and beaten egg whites (beat them to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt to improve their consistency). Mix until smooth.
Take a piece of the dough and stretch it with your hands, to give it the shape of a snake.
Place the resulting shape on a baking sheet with baking parchment and finish as desired by making small cuts to create the appearance of “scales”.
Decorate, using coffee beans as eyes, a whole almond for the tongue and almond slivers for ears.
Bake in an oven preheated to 170° C for 30-40 minutes, until a light golden brown.