Simple Hot Chocolate Bar
Setting up a hot chocolate bar is so easy and fun for everyone! Let me show you how we are making this part of our holiday tradition.
Who doesn’t love a nice cup of hot chocolate? It’s one of those comfort foods that often evokes childhood memories for many, myself included.
A hot chocolate bar could be used for so many different events. It’s a great excuse to have friends over for cocoa and dessert. You could set one up for guests as an after dinner treat. Are you having a holiday party with lots of kids? They’ll go nuts over it! Or keep it simple for your own family. The great thing about a hot chocolate bar is that it is completely customizable. You can make it as elaborate, or as simple, as you want. And most of the items you can readily find at your local grocery store. Let me show you how easy it was to set up my hot chocolate bar.
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The Idea for a Hot Chocolate Bar
When I was growing up (a bit farther north than where I am now), my brother and I would often have hot chocolate upon coming inside after playing in the snow. Last year, we got an incredibly unusual, large snow that my kids still talk about today. So, they got to experience the fun of warming up with a nice cup of hot chocolate after a lot of snowy play.
As soon as the weather started to cool off around here this year – like when we dropped from the mid-90s to the 80s – my daughter started asking for hot chocolate. Ha! I had to get my hot chocolate game ready early. And since it’s unlikely that we will get a significant snowfall again, the wheels started turning for me about how I could create another tradition around hot chocolate. Hence, the hot chocolate bar.
A New Tradition
I decided to wrap the hot chocolate bar idea up into a new family tradition this Christmas, though.
When I was growing up (once we were beyond the age of Santa Claus), my immediate family had a tradition of going to the movie, going out to eat (or occasionally eating dinner at home), and then opening presents on Christmas eve. Christmas day was so busy with family get togethers, that my mom wanted us to have more time to enjoy ourselves and our gifts together, instead of feeling rushed. It was a great tradition that we carried on for many years, even well into adulthood, and I have a lot a great memories from it.
So, I decided to start a similar tradition with my own family. I changed the tradition just a bit, since my kids are still Santa Claus age. I took a twist on the 4 gift tradition of “Something you want; something you need; something to wear; and something to read.”
The day before Santa arrived, my kids elves (Elf on the Shelf) delivered them a letter and a couple of gifts. The letter stated they weren’t to open the gifts until that evening. The gifts contained something to wear (slippers), something to eat (one ticket to the hot chocolate bar), something to watch (a new Christmas movie – super cute, highly recommend!), and something to read (a new Christmas book). So, that evening, they opened their gifts and had an absolute ball. They immediately put on their slippers, spent some time having cocoa at the hot chocolate bar, stayed up late to watch a movie, and read a new book before going to bed. Then, Santa arrived at our house that night after they went to sleep.
We all had so much fun that I plan on making this yearly tradition. It will likely change a bit as the kids get older, but I think it will be easily adaptable without losing the fun or memories.
Setting Up a Hot Chocolate Bar
Setting up a hot chocolate bar is really easy. All you need is a few containers – glass jars/bowls, mason jars, even large mugs would work well – some toppings for the hot chocolate, mugs, and spoons. The toppings are so fun that you don’t even hardly need any extra decor, although I did use a few Christmas trees to help fill out my bar.
I set up this hot chocolate bar (pictured) where my coffee bar normally is. In my house, the coffee bar is a good size surface, about counter height, and it’s fairly out of the way in my kitchen. If we were to be doing this for an adult party, it would be easy to get to, yet not create a traffic jam for other guests.
The night that we did hot chocolate and a movie with my kids, though, I just set up the bare necessities on the table for them, so that they could reach it all. So, again, it doesn’t have to be big or elaborate to make an impact.
Just make sure you have the necessities – mugs, stir sticks, spoons for scooping, and hot water – nearby and easily accessible.
Hot Chocolate Bar Toppings
The ideas for hot chocolate toppings are vast. The sky is really the limit, so have fun with it. Be sure to get things that you enjoy eating, though, as you may have toppings left over.
- Marshmallows (various sizes and colors)
- Chocolate chips
- Butterscotch chips
- Candy canes
- Hershey kisses (various different flavors)
- Chocolate syrup
- Caramel sauce
- Pretzel rods
- PEEPS marshmallows
- Hot chocolate bombs
- Whipped cream
- Bailey’s Irish Cream/Kahlua/Godiva Chocolate liqeur
As you can see, there is no shortage of hot chocolate bar topping ideas.
So, how about you? Do you have memories of drinking hot chocolate as a kid? Would you ever do a hot chocolate bar?
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