How to Prepare a Hot Cocoa Bar for Kids and Small Parties
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Whenever we have company at the house, I always prepare meat, cheese, and vegetable platter for the guests to snack on. This is perfect for kids and parents alike, but we always see more company during the summertime for visitors and playdates. As it’s getting colder, I’ve found another creative idea for guests to enjoy while at our house- a hot chocolate bar. With many different toppings and ingredients, this is perfect for pleasing house guests or parties during the colder months, especially kids.
Food photography props used in this photoshoot
Some of the props might no longer be available in stores. I selected props as close as possible to match those items.
This recipe is the perfectly simple homemade recipe, though store-bought hot chocolate mix works. After making the hot cocoa, all you have to do is prepare the toppings and serve everything on a tray. The toppings are perfect for kids, as they’re easy to add and have lots of sugar. For this recipe, I prefer to use Americanized hot chocolate, as it is much thinner than Italian hot chocolate, which is much thicker.
After making the hot chocolate, you can keep it nearby in a thermos pitcher to keep it warm. After the hot cocoa is served, keeping it in this thermos will keep it warm, and available to those that want seconds or for you to store after your guests have left.
This bar is good for all types of company, especially kids. Whether for a holiday party or for Christmas time, hot chocolate is a perfect drink for cold days. The hot chocolate can be served in glass jars, metal cups, or mugs, which makes for some great photoshoot opportunities.
Before focusing on the hot chocolate bar, I had shot hot chocolate on a stick. This is another way to serve hot chocolate, which is just as perfect for guests during the winter months. Each stick has different flavors and toppings, such as caramel, marshmallows, candy cane bits, or cinnamon. These can be homemade or bought from anywhere during the wintertime that serves coffee, such as Starbucks. Making them is as simple as sticking it into a cup of warm milk and stirring it, making this way of preparing hot cocoa interesting for kids. Homemade hot cocoa sticks are also a perfect holiday gift, that can be used as stocking stuffers or sent to friends and family.
- In a saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, and salt. Add water, and bring to a boil. Stir for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the milk, and heat to serving temperature. (Don’t boil at this point)
- Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Whisk until frothy.