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Hot Chocolate Bar

Many of us are seasoned outdoor entertainers. It's relatively simple to organize a laid-back gathering when the sun is shining, the grill is fired up, and everyone's bringing their favorite sides over, isn't it? Winter entertaining doesn't feel quite so easy-breezy to me for some reason. Here's a crowd pleaser I've been wanting to try out for myself:

An Afternoon Hot Cocoa Party

If you'd like to make it a potluck, assign various toppings for your guests to bring, or if you're feeling ambitious, set up the whole bar yourself. Start with a great hot chocolate recipe and keep it nice and warm in your crockpot. Plan for a fun mix of standard and adventurous toppings for your guests to experiment with. Simple shortbread, sugar, or peanut butter cookies round out the offerings well. If you need a few toppings to get started, here's a list of ideas:

Marshmallows (flavored, homemade, mini, jumbo…)

Peppermint sticks

Crushed peppermints

Ground cinnamon


Werther's Originals

White chocolate chips

Whipped cream

Chocolate syrup


Star anise


Chopped Reese's Cups

Espresso powder

Cinnamon sticks

How fun would it be to invite your neighbors who could walk (safely) to your house for a cocoa party during a good snow? Whether the snow ever decides to show up for us this year or not, a game day, craft day, puzzle day or just good hearty catch-up with your friends would be great accompaniments to any hot cocoa extravaganza.


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