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Simple Entertaining: a DIY Hot Chocolate Bar

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As you know, I’€™m a huge fan of any DIY-type of event when hosting a get-together. It can be a taco bar, burger bar, bruschetta bar, ice cream bar, and even a hot chocolate bar. Setting out the components and letting your guests help themselves is fun, interactive, and it works well for picky eaters and those with dietary restrictions. Plus, from the host’€™s point of view, it couldn’€™t be easier to execute.

I like to think of a hot chocolate bar as the winter equivalent of a summer sundae bar. Kids and adults go crazy for them, and toppings like whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles make an ordinary hot drink a little more indulgent and special.

How you go about making your hot chocolate is up to you. You can use a store-bought mix or make your cocoa from scratch, and keep it warm in a pot on the stove or an insulated carafe if you’€™re hosting a small group. For a crowd of six or more, I like to use a Crock Pot for keeping the beverage warm.

Next, you simply set up a topping bar, complete with syrups and sauces and bottles of liqueur, if you happen to be serving adults. Some topping suggestions you might want to consider include:

  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Marshmallows (store-bought or homemade)
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Toffee pieces
  • Crushed cookies (biscotti works well)
  • Crushed peppermint candies
  • Chopped chocolate bars
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Chocolate-covered cocoa beans
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Espresso powder (stir a teaspoon into the hot chocolate to make a mocha-based beverage)
  • Assorted liqueurs

Tell us, what’€™s your favourite DIY food station to set up for guests?

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