Hot Chocolate Bar Idea 03: The Chocolate
Now that you have the stuff, it’s time to get to the most important part of any Hot Chocolate Bar: the Hot Chocolate! You can totally opt for multiple types of hot chocolate: white, milk, dark, etc. I prefer to offer a creamy basic hot chocolate for my guests to doctor up as they see fit. Why make things overly complicated? You can totally opt for using the store-bought stuff, I love some Stephen’s Hot Cocoa! Or you can choose to make your own Hot Chocolate from scratch. It’s not difficult and it is definitely delicious!
Basic Hot Cocoa Recipe
- ½ C. sugar
- ¼ C. baking cocoa (or melted chocolate)
- dash salt
- ⅓ C. hot water
- 4 C. milk
- ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
- Begin by whisking the cocoa, sugar, and salt together in a medium-sized saucepan. Then add the water and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to boil for about two minutes before stirring in the milk and bringing it up to temperature. Do not bring the hot chocolate back to a boil! When the mixture is hot, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Whisk with an immersion blender until light and frothy, then serve!
Hot Chocolate Bar Idea 04: The Toppings!
Now that you have the basics covered, it’s time to get to the real reason you’re having a Hot Chocolate Bar: the toppings! Hot chocolate is delicious all by itself, but if you really want to take it up a notch try adding some toppings. Start with having dishes for the topping and spoons to dish them out with. You can grab some white square dishes here, some awesome geometric ramekins here, and some serving spoons here. Once you have your set up ready, it’s time for the toppings! Here are some suggestions for both a holiday party and a winter wedding. Because they will differ slightly in the number of people you’re serving, they have slightly different needs.
Hot Chocolate Bar Toppings: Holiday Party Edition
- caramels (the soft square kind in the plastic wrapper)
- chopped toffee bits
- coarse sea salt
- Assorted syrups (peppermint, raspberry, amaretto, and vanilla are our favorites!)
- chocolate chips: white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate
- crushed candy canes
- jumbo marshmallows
- whipped cream (homemade or store-bought)
- chocolate and/or caramel sauce
- Pirouettes (for stirring)
- Candy Canes (for stirring)
- Cinnamon Sticks (for stirring)
- Rock Candy (for stirring)
- Adult additions like Baileys, Kahlua, etc.
Hot Chocolate Bar Toppings: Winter Wedding Edition
- Mix-ins for Everyone: caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, peppermint syrup, raspberry syrup
- Mix-ins for Adults: Baileys, Kahlua, Amaretto, Peppermint Schnapps
- Toppings: whipped cream, marshmallows, mini-chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, maraschino cherries, and sprinkles
- Stirrers: assorted candy canes (cinnamon, peppermint, fruit-flavored, etc.)
- Dunkables: Pirouettes, shortbread cookies, donut holes on a stick, pretzel rods, etc.
Now that you’ve got the basics, get on out there and celebrate the snowflakes with a nice hot cup of chocolate and your favorite people! Happy Holidays!
Read next: DIY Hot Chocolate Bombs