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Package up these homemade brownies in "take out" boxes purchased at craft stores. Place a note on the box that says, "We were so FORTUNATE to have you this year. Thank you for being a great teacher!" Another idea for coffee lovers is fill a coffee cup with peppermint candies and say, "You "mint" so much to me this year!" Place a gift card to their favorite coffee shop inside.
 

AIMEE'S MADE BY HAND DARK CHOCOLATE COCONUT BROWNIES

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 King size (6.8 ounces) dark chocolate candy bar, chopped (all but 3 rectangles used, or you may use entire bar!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut (optional)
  • powdered sugar (to sift for topping; optional)

Combine sugar, water and butter in a heavy (thick bottom) saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate bar until smooth.  Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add eggs, one at a time.  (You want your chocolate mixture cooled so that when you add the eggs, they do not scramble.  Keep stirring the mixture when you add eggs, so this (scrambled eggs) does not happen).  Stir eggs until blended, then add coconut and vanilla extracts.  Combine flour and salt, then stir in chocolate chips and if using, nuts and coconut.  Add to brownie batter, stir to combine.  Place parchment paper that is hanging over on the sides, in brownie pan (I used a 9 x 9 pan) and lightly spray.  (The parchment paper allows for you to just lift the brownies out of the pan, no mess!)  Bake at 350 for 23 to 25 minutes.  Sift powdered sugar over the top.  (To perfectly cut brownies, use a plastic knife.  My friend, Lindsey Byers shared this tip with me, and it works like a charm!)