Pen N' Paperflowers · Dec 20, 2014

STYLING | Hot Chocolate Bar

I'm so happy with how our Hot Chocolate Bar turned out this year! (Check out our previous Hot Cocoa Bar)! I added a couple of new elements that I'm loving and I think you'll love them too!

I was inspired to add some fancy flavored syrups this year after a friend/customer recently ordered the Hot Chocolate Bar Collection from me for a wedding she was putting together this past weekend. She requested some custom labels…which included some fun flavored syrups...and the obsessing for me began.

We stuck to using the same, fabulous homemade Hot Cocoa Mix recipe we've been using for a couple of years now and the 48oz. Anchor Hocking Jar holds the entire batch perfectly - with room for the cute mini wooden scoop.

I stuck with the toppings I knew my girls loved: Mini Chocolate Chips, Mini Marshmallows, White Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Vermicelli Sprinkles and "Crushed" Peppermint this year instead of the whole peppermints I've used in the past. (just crush up some starlite mints using a rolling pin). I also opted to have Peppermint Stir Sticks on hand to be used as stirrers - besides, they are a fun way to add a pop of peppermint to your mug of hot cocoa!

So let's talk about what's NEW: Flavored Syrups! These are the same types of syrups added to your fancy Starbucks coffees! These are SO simple to make and inexpensive to purchase.
There are SO many flavor options out there but I stuck with two to keep things simple: French Vanilla syrup - store-bought from Target for $3.99 on the coffee aisle Peppermint syrup - homemade using 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar 1 tsp. Peppermint extract - so easy! You could even use a candycane or peppermint hard candy in place of the Peppermint extract but I didn't want my syrup to be red - you can choose to do that if you want to!!

I LOVE that you can add a few pumps of the syrup to change up the flavor of your hot cocoa!! (I think I've had to add about 5 pumps to mine but my mugs are pretty big).
The syrup dispensers are actually SOAP dispensers I picked up from Kirkland's a few month's back. They work GREAT!! I did see some at Target this week that look almost EXACTLY like the ones shown here - a little more narrow but the same bronze finish on the dispensers. Fun, right?

The other NEW elements I added this year is a bottle of Caramel Drizzle a small tub of Sea Salt. You know where I'm going with this!! I LOVE the salty sweet combo so I had to take advantage of the opportunity to include it as an option for the Hot Chocolate Bar.
So with the new syrups along with the caramel and sea salt, I've come up with THREE FLAVOR FAVORITES!!

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa Mix up a mug of Hot Chocolate. Add 3-5 pumps of French Vanilla Syrup. Top with marshmallows. Cover with whipped cream. Drizzle on some caramel and add a tiny sprinkling of sea salt to finish. YUM!!
Peppermint Hot Cocoa Mix up a mug of Hot Chocolate. Add 3-5 pumps of Peppermint Syrup. Stir with a Peppermint Stir Stick if you like. Top with marshmallows. Cover with whipped cream. Sprinkle on crushed peppermint. TASTY!
Double Chocolate Marshmallow Hot Cocoa Mix up a mug of Hot Chocolate. Add a spoonful (or two) of mini chocolate chips. Stir. Top with marshmallows. Cover with whipped cream. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows on top. Finish with dark chocolate vermicelli sprinkles! DELISH!

This year is the first year I've included the infamous Pepperidge Farm Pirouette Cookies as part of our Hot Cocoa Bar. The Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Hazelnut is my favorite but there's also a French Vanilla Pirouette option if you prefer! They don't take up a lot of space and fit in a jar nicely. My girls are loving them.

I've mentioned in the past that I prefer the mini dehydrated marshmallows over the normal, soft mini marshmallows but I decided to make a place for both options on the bar this year.

We are REALLY enjoying it - as always!
It's such a fun thing to put together and because I didn't style it "Christmasy" we can keep it up for New Year's and continue to use it throughout the entire winter season!

One thing I will definitely be adding next year is a to-go cup option - with a lid.
I'm missing the mini Kraft Ripple to-go cups from last year and want to have the 16oz. Kraft Ripple Coffee Cup sizes available to be able to send people off with a nice, warm cup of Hot Cocoa!

I hope you love how it turned out!

The Collection includes 4 different Chalkboard Posters and TONS of labels - including 3 different styles - round, square or rectangular.

Email subscribers have been notified of the new collection and have been sent a special coupon code to save $5 OFF - must be used by midnight on Christmas Day.

Aren't a subscriber yet? SIGN UP HERE to (1) receive special promotions, (2) be the first to know about new collections and art prints and (3) receive FREE printables too!

Hoping you all are enjoying your holiday season!
It was the last day of school for the kids today so it's officially Christmas break!
I'm looking forward to it!!

Those soap dispensers were actually being used in the master bathroom.
So…when I snagged them for the Hot Cocoa Bar, I rinsed and re-rinsed and soaked those bottles and pumps really, really good.

Would you believe the first couple of squirts of the syrup STILL had a hint of soap and bubbles in them?! So be warned! If you recycle some soap dispensers from around your own house…test them out to make sure all of the soap is REALLY out of them before offering any to your family and friends! Ha!!
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