So Halloween is drawing nigh. Traditions, ghost stories, spirits … and bones (aka cookies) are on my mind!
Have I mentioned that I love Facebook? (It may seem like a disjointed segue, but follow me for a moment.) I was long a reluctant Facebooker. I like my private life to be private. I don’t need to know if one of my friends walked her dog; to be honest, I don’t really even want to know if someone walked their dog. But when it comes to living gluten free, I love Facebook. I have learned so much from others through this medium and I have been able to help so many more others in their journeys to a happy gluten-free existence via easy Facebook conversations. (Now for the real segue …)
So it was that a few days ago, someone posted on my Facebook page that she had made “Bones of the Dead .. with Jules .. and they are terrific! Thanks!” Translation: she had used my Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour in a traditional wheat flour recipe and had made Ossa de Mordere — “Bones to Bite” Cookies — and they were terrific! So naturally, I asked for the recipe, and for a picture. And she stepped up with both.
I was so intrigued. The recipe (and the fascinating history behind it) had sucked me in. Sugar and spices with whipped egg whites and almonds … it sounded right up my cookie alley, that’s for sure.
So ladies & gents, I give you the traditional Italian Ossa de Mordere recipe shared by Bernice F. on my Facebook page. It’s a recipe you may recognize, as it’s not far off from any wheat version you might find — I changed little from Bernice’s version. I have to say that I believe I now know why these have been made in conjunction with modern-day Halloween, since you’re going to need to find many others to whom you can gift these bones, lest you find yourself late at night, munching on yet another cookie bone, writing a recipe for your blog … er … I mean, answering emails. These are seriously addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. They’re scary good. Really. Scary.
Ossa da Mordere – Bones to Bite Cookies -
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated cane sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest or dried lemon peel
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder, gluten-free
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 3/4 cup Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds (sliced almonds, coarsely chopped)
- Confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F (static).
Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
Whip the egg whites until foamy, but not stiff. Add sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves. Beat until integrated. Process almonds by chopping to a coarse texture. Add Jules Gluten Free™ Flour and chopped almonds and integrate into the egg mixture.
Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of dough into your hands and form into small 1/2 inch wide, 3 inch long finger-shaped sticks. Roll in confectioner’s sugar and press your fingertip into the end of each, forming a “U” shape for the ends of the bones. Lay onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
Bake for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over each bone cookie when cooling to make the cookies whiter — like bones. Once cooled, serve or seal in zip-top bags or rubber-sealed containers to keep crisp and fresh. Finished cookies should be crispy on the outside and chewy with a spicy crumb on the inside … delicious on their own, or dunked in coffee, like biscotti (or in sweet Italian wine??!).
Yield: approximately 12 large bone cookies.