Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
Break out the mugs, folks! It’s time for that perennial winter favorite, hot cocoa. What’s better on a cold winter evening than cozying up to the hearth or fire pit with a steaming cup of cocoa warming your hands? I’d love to pass along my secrets for how to make an amazing hot cocoa bar.
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert, exactly, BUT–I did do a morning tv spot on Fox 4 News in Dallas on this very subject!
Do not settle for powdered hot chocolate mix in a package! Instead, pre-make rich, creamy hot cocoa on the stove with milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla. Here’s a super easy recipe –Allison at Celebrating Sweets recommends making it extra rich by melting chocolate chips into the warmed cocoa. Yum!
Sure, you could plunk a ladle in the pan and let your guests swing by the stove for a cuppa, but why not make it an EVENT with a full-on cocoa bar? You’ll want to transfer that rich chocolatey-ness into an insulated container for easy dispensing–and then have fun setting up a stellar cocoa bar with wonderful toppings and mix-ins.
Be sure to haul out your festive serveware and decorations. You might set up on a kitchen island or a buffet or console table, or outside on a patio or picnic table–wherever your crowd has room to congregate and enjoy their all-you-can-drink feast!
Depending on the age of those you’re serving, you can customize your bar to please adults (Bailey’s Irish Cream, maybe) or children (candy sprinkles). But I think the must-haves are
Super host, get creative from there! Add containers of
Complete your cocoa bar with plates of your favorite cookies, and you’re all set!