I’ve got a fun idea for you to help any little ones in your life celebrate the holiday season this winter … a Hot Chocolate Bar!
Now, it’s not all 100% real food, but I did what I could to make things somewhat homemade and also dye-free. This would be the perfect addition to a Cookie Swap or Gingerbread House Making Party—all things my girls are totally into right now!
Supplies Needed for a Hot Chocolate Bar
It did take me a little time to pull everything together, but my 6th grader (who loves to help with things like this) loved every minute of it. :) Here’s a list of our supplies:
- Sprinkles (we used dye-free)
- Crushed peppermint
- Toasted coconut
- Chocolate shavings
- Crushed white chocolate pieces
- Candy canes (dye-free)
- Cinnamon sticks
- Grated cinnamon
- Homemade whipped cream
- Homemade chocolate sauce (in a squeeze bottle)
- Marshmallows (we offered both store-bought mini marshmallows and homemade in two flavors: mint chocolate chip and salted caramel)
- Mugs or paper coffee cups
- Insulated carafe (with warm homemade hot chocolate – recipe below)
- Little cups and scoops for the toppings
- Spoons and stirrers (we used wooden disposable spoons)
- Napkins (recommended, haha)
- Wooden chalkboard sign and other labels (optional)
- Wooden crate and/or tray to help with setup (optional)
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As you can see on the top row, we also thought it’d be fun to add a little game where the kids could guess how many marshmallows were in the jar. The winner takes all! What’s your guess?
I was excited to have another reason to make homemade marshmallows (besides our end of school year, backyard, movie party with smores). I always include store-bought (dye-free) marshmallows as well, because I know some kids won’t touch anything that looks too different from the norm!
Lastly, I’d say the kids’ creations came together pretty well – they were not scared to pile ’em high! This turned out to be a lot more fun than I was even expecting (and I promise, I thought it’d be fun!). I ended up leaving it set up for the rest of the weekend so my husband and I could indulge as well along with anyone else who stopped by. :) I’ll definitely be doing this again next year! And it will be even easier now that I have all the stuff.
I’d love to know if you’ve ever set up a Hot Chocolate Bar and included anything I did not mention here. If so, please do tell! And here’s that Homemade Hot Cocoa recipe for you (made with maple syrup instead of sugar)…
Homemade Hot Chocolate
- 6 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder I like the Hershey’s special dark version
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- Warm the milk in a sauce pot over low heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and syrup for a couple minutes until combined. Drizzle into the milk and stir to dissolve.
- Transfer to a large insulated carafe or pitcher and serve with toppings of choice.