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Host a hot chocolate party

A hot chocolate making party is a festive gathering during the winter months. Have kids invite a few friends over, choose toppings like marshmallows and candy canes, and let guests create a personalized cup of hot chocolate.

To bring everyone together and to have a little fun and get creative with our food, we included a couple of activities for guests. A snowman made from marshmallows with pretzel arms, mini chocolate chip eyes, and orange candy nose is fun to create and perfect for dipping in a mug of coco. Stir sticks are created from small spoons that are submerged in dark or white chocolate, frozen, and then decorated.

It also helps to have a hot cocoa recipe that guests young and old will love to sip. This one is made with semi-healthy ingredients like cacao powder, natural sweetener, and dairy-free milk. Although it’s wholesome, this recipe creates thick, rich, and completely satisfying hot chocolate. The consistency is like a French drinking chocolate. A little goes a long way, so we like to serve it in teacups or small mugs. If you prefer a thinner hot chocolate, simply add more milk. We also included a recipe for coconut whipped cream for a more flavorful take on store bought versions.

Thick Hot Chocolate (serves 4)
Ingredients:
4 cups almond milk
6 heaping tablespoons cacao powder
4 tablespoons agave
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Steps:
1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Once the milk is simmering, add the cacao powder, agave, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk vigorously to combine the ingredients.
3. Pour the hot chocolate in four teacups or small mugs.

Coconut Whipped Cream (serves 4)
Ingredients:
1 can full-fat coconut milk
4 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps:
1. Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight or for eight hours. This is an important step to ensure coconut solids rise to the top of the can, which is what you’ll use for the whipped cream.
2. Remove the can from the refrigerator making sure not to shake it. Scoop the coconut solids from the top of the can and place in a chilled mixing bowl. Reserve the liquid coconut milk for another use.
3. Whip on medium-high until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip again to combine.
4. Serve immediately with the hot chocolate.

Marshmallow snowmen are an adorable addition to hot chocolate and kids love making them. For smaller children, it’s best to cut the pretzel sticks and orange candies in advance.

Marshmallow Snowmen
Ingredients:
10oz package of marshmallows
8oz package of pretzel sticks
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup orange candies (We purchased ours from the bulk section of Whole Foods. Candy Corn would also work.)
Toothpicks

Steps:
1. Use a toothpick to skewer one marshmallow lengthwise so it’s in the center of the toothpick. Place a marshmallow above and below the middle marshmallow so three marshmallows are stacked on top of each other.
2. Cut a pretzel stick in half. Create the snowman’s arms by placing half of the pretzel stick on each side of the middle marshmallow.
3. Create buttons and eyes for the snowman with mini chocolate chips. If it’s difficult to stick the chocolate chips in the marshmallows, first use a toothpick to create shallow holes for the chocolate chips.
4. Cut the orange candies into triangles. Use one of the triangles for the snowman’s nose.

Chocolate dipped spoons can be used as stir sticks and to add to flavors like peppermint and white chocolate to the cocoa. There’s also easy to create, and even more fun to decorate.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened white chocolate chunks or chips
Toppings like crushed candy canes and sprinkles

Steps:
1. Use a double-broiler to melt the chocolate until smooth. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate or it will become grainy.
2. Dip a small spoon into the melted chocolate making sure to cover the front and the back of the spoon entirely. Repeat this process for all the spoons.
3. Freeze the spoons for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolates are solid.
4. Decorate the spoons with dark and white chocolate, crushed candy canes, sprinkles, or other candies.

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Stacee Gillelen

Mother of four, artist, and founder of Dragonfly Designs. After my second daughter was born, I left my career in banking and fell in love with the art of jewelry making, and found that I just couldn’t stop spreading the joy of it to others.

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