mini peppermint brownie bites

i have two student staffs. last night, i had my last student staff meetings of the semester. we decided to do secret snowflake–our inclusive name for what is popularly known as secret santa.

it would be unlike me to not pull out all the stops. i came with my secret snowflake’s gift, homemade picture frames with our team photo in them for each staff member, and baked goods. we always have a great time together, but this time there was ten times more laughing and love that ensued.

at my first staff meeting, we recapped the holiday party they did. they told me that students enjoyed the hanukkah and dreidel addition of the holiday programming. it was the first time they added anything other than christmas-y components to their holiday programming. they didn’t realize how fun dreidel could be and how much they could learn about hanukkah. success.

when it was time to do the secret snowflake exchange at my second staff meeting, everyone got super excited to be able to finally give their crafted gift. in lieu of purchasing actual gifts this year, we were only allowed to give homemade/DIY gifts. the student who got me as their secret snowflake made me a fun hanging decoration that included a photo of each person on staff that he took. for the first time this year, i cried at staff meeting. it was one of the most beautiful gifts i’ve received. he made the wire frames, chased staff members down to take their picture, and put it all together for me to hang up. more emotions as each person received their gift and realized that we’ve gotten so tight this year.

before staff meeting ended, one of my students says to me,”i hate secret santa. i don’t just like buying people stuff. but, since we did this, i really like it. i’d do it again happily.”

everyone agreed. even the students who weren’t crafty and were not into it when we decided to do homemade gifts said they would do it again. they had so much fun creating a gift to give someone. the staff decided that we’re doing a valentine’s day gift exchange. just to show everyone how much we care on a day commercialized for couples.

i can’t wait.

what’s your favorite holiday tradition?
if you do gift exchanges, what has been your most memorable memory from gift exchanges?

mini peppermint brownie bites
printable recipe – yield 36 mini brownie bites

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vanilla sugar
3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter
4 eggs
1/2 cup of peppermint chips (you could also use crushed peppermint candies)

preheat oven to 350. prepare mini muffin tin with oil spray.
place butter and chocolate into small saucepan. melt over medium low heat.

in a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and eggs. when chocolate is melted, add mixture in bowl. whisk to combine. fold in peppermint chips/peppermint candies. using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon, fill muffin cups with batter. bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

cool and remove from tin. eat many and enjoy.

first photo taken by m.c.


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