Hot Cocoa Bar!

A little rain, a little thing called November and suddenly Houston thinks it’s okay to be 40 degrees out, gray and COLD. But for once, that was totally fine with me since the chilly weather was the perfect backdrop for a long-awaited hot cocoa bar party!

Hot Cocoa Bar // The Pancake Princess

Hot Cocoa Bar // The Pancake Princess

Hot Cocoa Bar // The Pancake PrincessHot Cocoa Bar // The Pancake PrincessHot Cocoa Bar // The Pancake Princess Hot Cocoa Bar // The Pancake Princess

Karen is one of those friends with whom I could literally spend all day trading delicious links back and forth. Ever since seeing this cute bar on Kevin and Amanda’s blog, we’ve been wanting to throw our own, and luckily, last Friday was the perfect, super chilly night to do it!

As usual, there was an overabundance of food–I made Joy the Baker’s vegan pumpkin breadalfajores, and these incredible blackberry goat cheese thumbprint cookies from Two Red Bowls; friends brought pan dulce, pumpkin muffins, gingerbread cookies and chocolate bread pudding–and everyone crammed into my poorly situated apartment that lends itself to awkward pockets of people standing here, a group of people sitting there. But it was a bunch of my favorite people + cookies + hot chocolate, so I think we were okay.

Here’s what we did + some tips if you want to throw your own hot cocoa bar!

We made four hot chocolate “bases” and kept them warm in four separate pots on stove. People could grab mugs from the counter and fill up with their preferred flavor, or mix and match:

Make sure you have enough (1) mugs (for drinking) and (2) ladles (for serving)! Luckily, friends were able to bring some mugs to supplement my collection, but I’d recommend looking at a thrift store like Goodwill for some cheap, unique mugs if you’re in the market for more anyway. If you keep each base over low heat on the stove, make sure to give them a stir once in awhile.

We spread the toppings out on a table in the living room, where people could choose from: whipped cream, cinnamon, toasted flaked coconut, mini marshmallows, chili powder, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, Valhrona cocoa powder, peppermint schnapps, and Bailey’s.

In a perfect world, I would have had cute little calligraphied papers suggesting different topping combinations, but I ran out of time–food for thought if you throw your own hot cocoa bar party!

So tell me–what’s the best holiday party you’ve ever been to?

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36 thoughts on “Hot Cocoa Bar!

  1. Pingback: Single, No-Bake Chocolate Cinnamon Roll | The Pancake Princess

  2. Melissa Martinez
    Did you add sprinkles to this incredible Hot Cocoa Bar?! Erika, you may not realize this but there is a good possibility that we are soul sisters. Hehe sprinkles on anything and everything! I'm so in love with these photos. I could look at them over and over again (and I have!).
  3. laurasmess
    Ohhh Erika!! Even though it's 36 degrees C (96.8 degrees f!!) in Western Australia today, you've got me craving snuggly blankets, hot cocoa and pillowy marshmallows. This cocoa bar idea is BRILLIANT, I'm loving the combination of different cocoa bases (PEPPERMINT!!! GAH!) and those powdery thick cookies for dunking. And marshmallows. All of the marshmallows. Wait, did I say that already?! I'm so glad (and jealous) that you guys had a grand old time. As for my fave holiday party? It's always a BBQ on the beach, our summer staple. Straw hats, bikini's, ice-cold cider and lots of salads in Tupperware containers. Thick-sliced halloumi sizzled on a barbecue hot plate with sausages and steak for the boys (I could forego the last part but these Aussie guys, well... they kinda define their masculinity through meat. More on that another day). Wanna come this year? I'll fly over for a cocoa party and then you come back with me for beach parties til the sun sets. Yes? Right. Done. HAPPY HOLIDAYS, love you! <3 xxxxx
    1. erika Post author
      YES! Love that description--"powdery thick cookies"--so accurate! Wish you could've been here to partake!! Ahh your BBQ on the beach sounds AMAZING (and slightly way more healthy ;)) I'm SO THERE kthxbye <3 HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU TOO, LOVELY LADY!!! <3 <3 <3
  4. Shikha @ Shikha la mode
    I am obsessed with this. It never gets THAT cold in SF (let's be real), but I still want to throw one anyways cus chocolate and warm things and I'm always cold anyways. Can you come back so we can cook already?!
  5. Kathryn
    This is a brilliant idea! My boyfriend's family are coming to ours just before Christmas and I wasn't sure how to entertain them but this will be perfect!
  6. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
    This is such a fantastic party idea - I wish I could have come to your hot cocoa party! I'm now planning my next gathering...I love that you didn't just go with one hot cocoa, but FOUR. That's why you're awesome.
    1. erika Post author
      Aww thanks Stephanie!!!!!! Wish you could've been there to hang out and sip on cocoa in one of my awkward pockets of friends ;)
    1. erika Post author
      OMGOSH I WANT TO START A BRUNCH CLUB!! That sounds so so fun. Bloody mary bars sound so fun! (Have you ever done a waffle bar? So good!)
    1. erika Post author
      I know. I know. It was colder here than in NYC for a few days, which was like WHAT IS GOING ON. Shelley, please go make yourself a cup of nutella hot chocolate RIGHT NOW. It is SO easy--literally heat up a cup of milk and stir in a spoonful of nutella (and a hit of salt and cinnamon if you like!). Omgah.
  7. Krystal
    OMG stahp I am major jealous right now!! Please throw another one in February even though it will probably be back to beautiful sunshine?? Miss you and I really cannot believe I missed this AMAZING party!! I would definitely do a White Chocolate peppermint with whipped cream, graham crackers and peppermint schnapps!! Yummmm
    1. erika Post author
      Ahhhhh miss you lady!!!! Omg I don't think I've told you, but Rudy now brings me extra dessert he makes every week. IT'S AWESOME. Wish you were here to appreciate the amazingness with me!!
  8. cynthia
    this is the best. idea. EVER. omgg i need one of these parties in my life stat. plus those pictures are perfection! PS ahhhh your comment the other day made my day re: those blackberry cookies!!!!! THANK YOU so much for making them!!
  9. Nancy @ gottagetbaked
    Erika, this is the best party that I wasn't invited to ;) Ermagawd, I love the idea so much!!! Any buffet styled party where people can choose their poison 'n mix 'n match is amazing. All the baked goods sound incredible and damn, I'd need a bucket for my drink cause I'd want to use every topping. Gorgeous photos too, my friend.
  10. Kim @ AdventuresInANewishCity
    This. THIS is the best holiday party I've ever been to...even though I wasn't *technically* there. (please don't feel sorry for me). But, GAH, this looks amaazzzzing Erika!! I want to dive headfirst into all of those toppings!! Just lovely!

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