I absolutely love hosting. Don’t get me wrong, it can sometimes be stressful, and I tend to put a little too much on my plate at times (yes, I see that Lol), but overall, I enjoy showing love to others by having them in my home or by making everyone feel special at a party. The Christmas season is no different. While my house has been more busy than usual fighting off germs of every size, shape, and color – I was relieved when my family was all healthy and happy the day of our Annual Christmas Party with our small group of friends.
One of the secrets to low-stress holiday hosting is to ask guests to bring something to share. This is particularly helpful when hosting a low-key gathering of friends or family. For our party this year, we decided to smoke a turkey and our friends each brought a side to share for dinner. It was easy and delicious, and it gave everyone a way to be part of the party in some way.
I didn’t have time to make a fancy dessert, but I still wanted my dessert to be creative, festive, and of course delicious. Enter, my Hot Chocolate Party Board:
I have seen the most adorable non-traditional party boards on Instagram lately and decided to take my hot chocolate bar up a notch by making it into a party board. I shopped happily down the aisles of my local Trader Joe’s and found everything on this board there except the green Christmas Tree Marshmallows, Tri-color Melt-Away Mints, and the Peeps Snowmen. These three items I found while at Target, of course! 🙂
I included plenty of marshmallows and dunkers of different kinds and I also added some caramel sauce, mints, cinnamon sticks, and caramel candies to help add in a different hot chocolate flavor if someone wanted to add a twist to traditional hot chocolate. I think my favorite items were the Mini Chocolate Mousse Presents, the Peeps Snowmen, and the Half-Dipped Almond Biscotti.
I invested in a stainless steel hot-beverage dispenser (pictured above) to help with cold-weather drink serving and simply made up the hot-chocolate in the dispenser. It kept the liquid warm throughout the party and ensured a minimal mess. The one I used is found here at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but many stores carry them and they are worth having around if you plan on hosting – for both large and small gatherings. The dispenser looks much nicer than a crockpot and is also much safer than keeping the beverage warm on the stovetop.
Have I convinced you to include a hot-chocolate charcuterie-style dessert board at your next party this year? I sure hope so. I recommend having about 10-12 items on your board to ensure it is filled up completely – you do not want to have empty spaces. I also made sure to have some home-made whipped cream on the side along with some festive red and green sprinkles. My board size was 20 inches x 14 inches and there was enough to go around for 12 adults and 4 kids. Everyone had a great time building their hot-chocolate dessert and it made for a fun topic of conversation as well. And even better than all of that? My kitchen was completely mess-free. 🙂