Hot Chocolate Bar

This weekend was our annual Breakfast with Santa.  A fun event we host for some of our neighbors.

You can read more about how this tradition started over at Your Homebased Parties.

Our menu for the party is the same every year – pancakes, little sausages, fruit, juice and hot chocolate.

Each year everyone raves about my hot chocolate.  It’s an old family recipe!  Not really, in fact it isn’t even a recipe it’s only a secret ingredient.

Believe it or not I use good old Nestle’s Hot Chocolate mix.  The trick is to be sure and use whole milk – no skim milk, no 2% – only whole milk!  The other secret ingredient is vanilla.  To one gallon of milk I add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla.  The combination of the the whole milk and vanilla create a rich and creamy hot chocolate that everyone loves and it’s easy!!

We always have lots of whip cream to go with the hot chocolate.  No limits – you can have as much as you want.

This year I decided to take it up a few notches after seeing Real Mom Kitchen’s post on Hot Cocoa and I put together a hot chocolate bar for the party.  It was a huge hit with kids and adults!

Hot Chocolate Bar

We had lots of fun mix ins and toppings.  We had candy canes dipped in white chocolate with white sprinkles to use as stirrers.

Hot Chocolate Bar

Hot Chocolate Bar

And then there were red, green and chocolate sprinkles!  I crushed up malted milk balls, peanut butter cups and Heath bar for yummy mix ins too!  And of course there were mini M & M’s.

What hot chocolate bar would be complete without whip cream – lots of whip cream.  There was also chocolate syrup, vanilla sugar and some Pirouette -rolled wafer cookies to dip and stir with.

Hot Chocolate Bar

And of course there were lots of marshmallows – mini and holiday shaped!

Hot Chocolate Bar

The kids, big and little had lots of fun putting together their hot chocolate creations!  We’re leaving the hot chocolate bar up for a few days. We’re going  caroling tonight with friends and will come back afterwards for more hot chocolate fun!

Comments

  1. 1
    Tamara says:

    Fun, fun, fun. Goodness, I’ve missed this blog. After last week, I must have been kicked off. Tried signing up again, but have not been successful. Now, I need to remember to check in each day. Any hints? I hope this has not happened to the rest of the subscribers. Thanks for this fun idea!

  2. 2
    Laura says:

    Looks like it turned out great! I love the chocolate dipped candy canes!

  3. 3
    Vicki says:

    LOVE the candy cane idea for stirrers – very festive!! Mmmmm, Heath bars in hot chocolate – something so easy but I bet tastes soooo divine!! What a great & fun idea!

  4. 4
    Elizabeth S. says:

    This looks so festive. I love your snowflake tablecloth, do you remember where you got it? I am on my way to HomeGoods for the first time. Woo hoo!

  5. 5
    Leigh Anne says:

    Elizabeth – the tablecloth came from Target. Just picked it up last week. Have fun at HomeGoods!

  6. 6

    You always have the best ideas. I agree those white chocolate dipped candy canes look great.

  7. 7

    Fun! I love the way you plan everything down to the last detail.

    I should tell you that I’ve made up Chai Concentrate for a quick gift for several tea-drinking friends, but then tried it with one of the Nestles hot chocolate packets, a bit of instant espresso and a spoonful of the Chai Concentrate…and on, my goodness, if you had it just once, you’d want to add that to your hot chocolate bar!! I thought I’d just had the very best dessert ever – a somewhat spicy mocha latte! Divine! To stir it with a chocolate covered candy cane and with whipped cream – gilding the lily, but oh, YES!

  8. 8
    Lisa Hemstreet says:

    Hi Leigh Anne….your photos are gorgeous!!! What lens are you using? I can tell you aren’t using a flash and the lighting is incredible. Can you share your camera and lens details? Thank you so much!!!

    • 8.1
      Leigh Anne says:

      Lisa,

      Thanks! My camera is a basic Nikkon D40x and my lens is the one that came on it – 18-55mm. Glad you liked the photos!
      You are right – I don’t use a flash.

  9. 9
    Kara says:

    That looks like such a fun (and yummy) idea! Your table looks just beautiful!!!

  10. 10
    Stephanie Fry says:

    So yummy-looking and so pretty! I especially love the photos with the Christmas tree as a backdrop. Thanks for sharing all of your ideas and recipes.

  11. 11
    Heidi says:

    Wow, what a great idea!! I think I’m going to borrow it for our Christmas Eve brunch~

  12. 12

    LeighAnn – how do you keep your cocoa hot?? Do you just keep it on the stove? I just put together a last minute Hot Chocolate Bar with Santa on Thursday morning and got to wondering how I was going to keep it good and piping hot! Any help would be great (: Thanks again!

  13. 13
    Leigh Anne says:

    I did have a big pot on the stove and then I filled a couple of tea pots which kept it hot. A crockpot would also work great.

    EnJOY!

  14. 14

    I used a crockpot and it worked wonderfully! Thanks again for the great idea (: We had so much fun!

  15. 15
    Danee says:

    Leigh Anne, I am wondering how you do it? How do you take such a classic – Hot Chocolate – and turn it into something absolutely divine??? My kids LOVE hot cocoa and I decided to try this recipe out for Christmas morning. Super. Super. Super. It was almost like drinking warm chocolate pudding. I do not know if we can ever go back to the “just add water and dump a packet of mix in” I knew that your recipe would not fail me. They never have! Enjoy your blogging break.

  16. 16
    Kristen says:

    Thanks for sharing! This was exactly the kind of idea I was looking for! Where did you find that Christmas teapot?

  17. 17
    Annie says:

    This looks wonderful! I am doing a hot chocolate bar for my daughter’s birthday. For roughly 24 people. How many does this serve, and can I do it in the crock pot?

    • 17.1
      Leigh Anne says:

      You can totally do your hot chocolate in the crock pot. Depending on the size of the cup you are using I would plan on two cups of hot chocolate per person.

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