Gluten Free Sweet Biscotti Cookies (Italian Ossa da Mordere)

Gluten Free Sweet Biscotti Cookies (Italian Ossa da Mordere)

These Italian Ossa da Mordere gluten free sweet biscotti cookies are scary good. I don’t know where they’ve been all my life, but on Halloween it sure is nice to have an occasion to make them! Let me tell you a little about how I first learned of these delicious “Bones to Bite.”

Gluten Free Ossa-de-Mordere in pumpkin - gfJules

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 …)

gluten free ossa-de-mordere-black - gfJules

So it was that a reader 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 gfJules™ 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.

gluten free bones cookies with bite

So ladies & gents, I give you the traditional Italian Ossa de Mordere gluten free Sweet Biscotti Cookie 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 — although I did change it a little from Bernice’s version.


gluten free bones cookies video

Click photo for a super quick video showing how to shape this dough into bones.


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.


Here’s a video showing the recipe in action



Italian bones to bite

Italian Ossa da Mordere Sweet Biscotti Cookies

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 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
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 3/4 cup (236 gr) gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.3 ounces; 180 gr) coarsely chopped raw almonds
  • 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 gfJules™ Gluten Free All Purpose  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.

Ossa da Mordere (Italian Sweet Biscotti Cookies) - gfJules


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33 thoughts on “Gluten Free Sweet Biscotti Cookies (Italian Ossa da Mordere)

    • Biscotti is the best! I’m glad you’re interested in trying this recipe even though the Day of the Dead has past. The cookies don’t have to be shaped as bones to still be delicious!

  1. These were commonly made in my hometown. Most of the women put the cookies, when they were still slightly warm, in a paper bag with confectioner’s sugar and shook the bag to be sure they were really coated and looked like bones. Just FYI. Nice to see this recipe!

    • Oooh good idea, MaryEllen! Thanks for sharing – I’ll try that next time I make them! Where did you grow up? Sounds like a place I’d love if these were common there! 🙂

  2. Hi Jules! These were delicious! But, mine didn’t look like the picture – they were very “meringue-y” (flattened, lighter, with crispy outside, slightly chewy inside)??

    My family and I enjoyed them very much, but not sure what I did wrong? Followed recipe exactly, not sure if it was the egg whites?

    • Hi Jen – so glad your family enjoyed these fun cookies! Not sure why they would have turned out differently from what’s pictured unless you used another gluten free flour blend or made any other substitutions?

  3. Hi Jules! Can I make these with a corn free flour! I love your flour but I have had to go corn free. These look amazing!!! Thanks in advance for reading my comment and answering as best as possible. I don’t buy any other brand for the family other than your flour! It’s just me who needs corn free! ?

    • Hi Kathleen, for corn-free you could make your own blend (see the end of this article for guidelines) or use Better Batter Flour. My understanding with that flour though, is that you need to add more liquids to get the moisture ratio to work well, so be aware of that in this recipe and perhaps add more liquid if you need it to get the dough to hold together. Happy Halloween!!!

  4. Made these last night and don’t have many left! The crunch of the outside and chewy inside is perfect! I left out the lemon zest only b/c I didn’t have a lemon on hand and I used chopped pecans from my pecan trees instead of almonds. I am definately going to dip the ends in chocolate on my next batch…THANKS for the GREAT RECIPE!

  5. This is a brilliant recipe – thank you! They were great as a treat for Halloween & definitely something to make again. The mix made a good amount also.

  6. Made these to bring to work on Halloween. They are really good. A bit more work than I am used to but worth it. They turned out really nice.

  7. Jules, I would love to try your flour mix! I am an avid baker and just found out I have CD :( Do you sell it retail? I live in upstate NY.

  8. To get room temperature eggs quickly, put the whole, uncracked eggs in a small bowl and add warm water. Takes about 5 minutes for the eggs to warm up!

  9. They turned out lovely! Well done. I’m so glad you liked them. My husband made a batch and dipped the ends in chocolate — not very ‘bone-y’ but tasty!

    And Dee, they should be 1/2 around and about 2 1/2″ long.

  10. So you roll the dough into half-inch long finger-shaped sticks. Half-inch long? That’s pretty tiny. They don’t look that short in the photos. I don’t think I’d attempt it. Maybe half an inch thick? Please advise.

  11. Is there any substitute for the lemon zest, or do you think I could leave it out? I have lemon juice, but am zesting impaired…. If dried lemon peel is something I can buy and keep in the spice cabinet, let me know where I should be looking.


    • Valerie – I keep dried lemon peel in my cabinet for just these moments! You can definitely leave the zest out of this recipe, or you can look in the spice aisle for dried lemon peel!

    • Valerie, I grated the outside of a lemon, then chopped it up further with the almonds when I ground them, and it worked wonderfully. I find that I like fresh much better than dried, and despite a few big pieces now and then, it’s worth it!