Simply Celebrate Life!
I included a Cocoa Bar into my Santa Baby party, and here are all the details for you to use!
I hosted a Girls Night In party with a Santa Theme and included a Cocoa Bar! I was inspired by my Red and White theme to include Peppermint for this one, but you could adapt for however you want to host your own!!
Hot Cocoa Bar
As if we didn’t have enough sugar at our Dessert Bar, I also had a Hot Cocoa Bar! Plus, It wouldn’t be a Santa party without Hot Cocoa?!
I topped my Island with the Cocoa Bar. I used these cute jars to hold Peppermint Sticks and Candy Canes and had to include my cute Santa Boots!
For my ‘Table Runner,’ I simply used a cute roll of Polka Dot Wrapping Paper!
Marshmallow Peppermint Stick Stirrers
I created these cute ‘North Poles’ as Cocoa stirrers. I stuck a soft Peppermint stick into a large marshmallow. I then dipped the Marshmallow into some melted White Chocolate and dipped that into some sugar crystals. I also put a dab of chocolate on the top of the stick to stick a red M&M for the finial. The little signs were simply printed onto paper and stuck on with a little Corn Syrup. They were so cute and perfect for dipping into some creamy Hot Chocolate!
Here’s another shot of the Cocoa Bar, and shows the cute Santa Cake Plate that I borrowed from Patty. He’s holding up my homemade Marshmallows!
There is nothing better than Marshmallows melting into your creamy Hot Cocoa, except maybe Homemade Marshmallows! These are not only homemade Marshmallows, but homemade Peppermint Marshmallows with a red swirl and cut into cute Snowflakes! They were almost too pretty to eat!
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
4-5 drops red food coloring
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the peppermint extract during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Drop red food coloring onto marshmallows and use a toothpick to swirl the food coloring into the marshmallows. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Here is a link to the BeanTownBaker blog for her recipe for Peppermint Marshmallows!
Oh, how I love a Cocoa Bar! I kept this one focused on the Peppermint because of my theme and colors! I’ll have to do another post with my full Cocoa Bar ideas!
Now, that looks like a yummy cup of Cocoa with the Peppermint Snowflake Marshmallow on top!
For anyone that knows me, one of my favorite things in the whole world is my CocoMotion! You don’t have one yet?? Stop reading right now and go get one!! Why, you ask?? The CocoMotion enables you to easily make real Hot Chocolate, while you can easily heat up your favorite powdered Cocoa in it, it does so much more than that. It whips and heats your ingredients, so you end up with a frothy, perfectly easy Hot Chocolate!
Here is my easy go to recipe for Cocoa…
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
Optional: Add a dash of cinnamon, or a splash of flavored syrups like Hazelnut, Caramel, or Creme de Menthe
pinch of kosher salt
Place all ingredients into CocoMotion, and turn on… That’s it! See why I love it!
Now top it all off with my Homemade Marshmallows, or a big dollap of Whipped Cream! And garnish with a few sprinkles, chocolate, or a dash of cinnamon! Perfection!
(If sadly, you don’t have a CocoMotion, you can heat and stir these ingredients on your stove as well 😉
Now go set up your own Cocoa Bar, whether it’s just for your family Christmas movie night, a surprise from your Elf on the Shelf, for your BIG family Holiday get together, or for a fun night with family and friends! You don’t need much of an excuse this time of year for a yummy Creamy Cup of Cocoa!