Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hot Chocolate Bar

Winter is finally here and I'm reaching for my cups of hot chocolate and tea to stay warm and toasty during these cold days and nights.  Hot chocolate bars are the perfect way to keep guests warm and happy during those cozy winter birthday parties, wedding receptions, celebrating new years eve or just a fun get together with friends and family.  I had a wonderful opportunity to visit with our local MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) group and set up a fun hot chocolate bar for their meeting.  If you are a mother of little ones and searching for a group of moms going through the same struggles and joys, you might want to check this group out.  They have over 4,000 groups around the world.

For the hot chocolate bar styling, I started with our Penguin Birthday Party items and just modified them a little to fit our group.  This is something that we can do with most of our products, so feel free to ask us if we can change the wording, colors, take off the design, etc.  

Here are a few tips and ingredients you will need to pull off a delicious hot chocolate bar at your next winter event.  When planning a hot chocolate bar, make sure to have plenty of toppings, whipped cream and cute signage.  People are more likely to use the toppings and condiments if they know exactly what they are.  The signage and topping selections were the easy parts, finding the right hot chocolate mix, not so easy!  I originally wanted to do a crockpot hot chocolate, but the meeting started early in the morning and all the crockpot recipes required several hours to reach full yumminess.  I am not a morning person, so getting up at 5am to make hot chocolate, wasn't an option for me.  So I thought it would be a good idea to make my own mix then use a large coffee urn for hot water.  I headed over to pinterest and tried many different recipes for homemade hot chocolate mix and I didn't care for the way those tasted, some too sugary, some not sugary enough, most just didn't have enough taste when mixed with water and milk.  So, I broke down and used a store bought mix. I tried Swiss Miss, Nestle and Land O Lakes and decided on Land O Lakes Chocolate Supreme Hot Cocoa Mix.  We borrowed large coffee urns from the church where the meeting was held for the water.  I had regular milk and rice milk on hand and in cute glass containers. Everyone seemed to love it.  

Here is what you will need and links to purchase.

Toppings and ingredients we used for the cocoa bar:
Land O Lakes Chocolate Supreme Hot Cocoa Mix
Rice Milk and/or Coconut Milk
Whipped Cream
Peppermint Sticks
Mini Chocolate Chips
Butterscotch Chips
Crushed Peppermint Candies
Chocolate and Peppermint Crumbles (Andes Mints)
Caramel Chips
Chocolate Hazelnut Pirouettes
(for a wedding reception, you could also add flavored liquors and syrups (Peppermint Schnapps, Baileys, etc.) 

Paper Goods and Signage
paper straws 
cup wraps
straw flags
tags for milks and hot cocoa mix
food tents and tags for toppings
directions for mixing and making the hot chocolate
banner or sign directing guests to the hot chocolate bar
stir sticks

Added Bonus:
Add favor bags, stickers and ties and let your guests make a bag to take home as a favor.

Photos (and help with the setup) by Jennifer Cox of JT Photography.
All paper goods by us: Tiger Lily Invitations