You deserve a cookie.
Maybe you've finished a project at work, or planted a garden. Maybe you've volunteered your time, or folded the laundry. Maybe you've swum laps.
Or maybe you don't really think you've done much of anything. Maybe you're feeling blue. Maybe you wonder why you're not more productive, or more generous, or kinder, or smarter, or prettier, or, I don't know, better, somehow. Maybe you focus so much on others' achievements that you never, ever, ever take the time to look back and reflect on how far you've come.
But you have come far. I don't know where you started, or where you're going, or even who you are, but we all go from point A to point B and along our way there are infinite small victories, and accomplishments, and milestones, some so small they pass by in a blip and we don't even see them. We don't. I don't. We see countless successes in others, clear as day, but so very few in ourselves.
So stop. Just stop. Take a quiet minute. Think about your week. Did you pack a lunchbox? Mow a lawn? Smile at a stranger? Did you practice a skill? Tidy a closet? Go for a run? Did you do a good job on something? Anything? Did you?
Because I'm guessing you did. And there won't be a parade. There won't be confetti. There won't be a thank you note, or a raise, or a grateful pat on the back. But that doesn't mean it didn't happen. And that doesn't mean it didn't matter.
Have a cookie.
You deserve it.
Recipe for Whole Wheat Biscotti with fennel seed, pistachios, apricots, and chocolate
Inspired by and adapted from Diana's pistachio, dark chocolate, and cranberry biscotti, which she submitted to the 5SR cookie swap back in 2008. This whole wheat version has a distinct flavor profile thanks to fennel seed and apricot. The recipe makes a ton, so please give some away to someone special. They're unique and unbelievably good.
Makes 26 standard-size biscotti or 80 to 90 1" biscotti bites
1 cup turbinado sugar
3-1/4 cups whole wheat flour, plus up to 1/4 cup more for dusting and kneading
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
One 12-ounce bag mini chocolate chips
1 cup finely diced dried apricots
1 cup pistachios, rough-chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons fennel seed (I used 2 but might use more next time)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, 3-1/4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined, then whisk in the olive oil and vanilla. Pour this wet mixture into the well and combine the wet and dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, stirring thoroughly until the dry ingredients are completely moistened. (Pay attention to the bits on the bottom of the bowl.) Dump in the chocolate, apricots, pistachios, and fennel seeds, and work in with your spoon.
Dust a work surface with a bit more flour and turn the dough out. Knead with floured hands until the mass is no longer sticky, adding up to 2 tablespoons additional flour if necessary. Cut in half. Place each dough half on a lined baking sheet and press into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle measuring roughly 9-1/2 x 7. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until the top no longer looks raw, reversing the sheet pans halfway through. Remove from the oven and crank the heat to 425 degrees. Let dough cool for 5 minutes.
Carefully transfer the dough to a cutting board. If making full-sized biscotti, cut at 1/2 inch intervals into long sticks. If making bite-sized cookies, cut each block into 5 long strips, then cut each strip at 1" intervals to form chunks. Tip the pieces onto one side and return to the oven. (You may need a third baking sheet.)
Bake for 6 minutes, then carefully flip the biscotti onto their other sides. Bake 10 to 12 minutes longer, or until golden brown, watching carefully during the last few minutes to avoid burning. Cool completely on the baking sheets. Stored airtight, these last at least a week.