Post by Nicole Tingwall of Windy City Dinner Fairy
I’m preparing for a long cold winter here in Chicago. We’ve already had a blizzard, and I plan on hibernating until I see the green grass again. So until May, it’s hot chocolate by the fire and all the Christmas cookies. Who’s with me?!?
For those who want to join, here's a great hot cocoa toppings bar, perfect for any winter party you throw while the snow is on the ground!
You start out with your favorite hot cocoa mix or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can create your own!
Here’s a simple homemade hot cocoa mix:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
- 2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
- 1 teaspoon fine-grain salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, milk powder, salt, cornstarch and cayenne in a large airtight container. Secure the lid and shake vigorously to combine.
Now for the fun part: the TOPPINGS!
What should I put in my hot cocoa toppings bar?
Here’s where you can get a little crazy with your sweet tooth.
Start with the basics. I like to use Solo’s 9 oz clear plastic cups to display all the gorgeous toppings. I started with white chocolate chips, then added bittersweet chocolate chunks. Next was an absolute must: all the marshmallows! I put my mini marshmallows in a solo cup, then I offered giant snow flake marshmallows for an extra festive touch.
‘Tis the season for all things candy cane and peppermint, so I loved adding these mini candy canes to this Hot Cocoa Bar. Finish with some whipped cream, and festive sprinkles to top it all off!
I found these adorable gingerbread man straws from Etsy and couldn’t resist putting them on the spread as well. They were a perfect touch to the bar.
Don’t forget to put small spoons at each cup so that your guests can scoop out the toppings as they need them. Finally, I added some twinkle lights for a magical touch.
So fill up your Solo cup (these 12 oz hot beverage cups are perfect and come with lids so you can take them to go!) and grab a cookie for a warm winter treat!
Editor's note: For an extra bit of festive cheer, stash a bottle of Bailey's in a decorative present box on your display. The curious few who open it will smile at the fun holiday surprise.