A few years ago I had a conversation with a good friend, about creating the kind of atmosphere in my home, that would make people want to curl up on my couch, settle in, and feel completely relaxed and welcomed. I shared with her about how I wanted my home to be the kind of place where folks could find a way to unload their burdens and find rest in body and in spirit. I remember saying to her, "I want my home to feel like a mug of hot chocolate." She looked at me rather quizzically, and I admit, after I said the words, it seemed rather silly. I wasn't even sure what I meant.
Now though, a few years older and a few years wiser, it makes perfect sense to me. Hot cocoa, with it's rich aroma and silky texture, is warm and comforting. It is luxuriously sweet to the taste and evokes a sense of cozy contentedness that seeps into your soul.
And that is just what I desire my home to be for everyone who steps through it's doors.
My friends, if ever you have the opportunity to come into my home, I hope you feel that kind of content. And let me just say, while you're here, I'd be thrilled to offer you a literal mug of hot chocolate as well! You can peruse my hot cocoa bar and choose from an assortment of fixings, spices and toppings to create the ultimate hot cocoa for your savoring pleasure!
Start with the basics.
1. Hot Cocoa mix.
I keep a glass mason jar of pre-made hot chocolate mix in my cocoa bar. While nothing compares to making hot cocoa from scratch, a pre-mixed powder is so convenient to have on hand for last minute cravings.
2. Mini marshmallows.
These are a staple. What kid, young or old, doesn't like the delicious, melty texture of marshmallows when sipping a cup of sweet cocoa?
3. Whip cream.
During the winter months, I always have a can of whip cream on hand for the days I have a hankering for this sweet drink. It wouldn't be the same without it!
Now's where we get creative!
4. Crushed candy cane.
Adding in a heaping spoonful of crushed candy cane gives you instant peppermint cocoa.
5. Mini Chocolate chips.
What's better than chocolate? More chocolate!
A little cinnamon goes a long way to adding decadent flavour!
Just a pinch or two. So delicious!
8. Salted caramel sauce.
This is my favorite hot cocoa ingredient. I use a home-made sauce my mom and I make together. The absolute best!
9. Chocolate sauce.
Again, what's better than chocolate and more chocolate? Even more chocolate!
10. Toasted coconut.
Toasted coconut looks so pretty sprinkled on top of whipped cream. And let's be honest here, the visual experience is almost as good as the tasting experience when it comes to indulgent hot chocolate.
11. Sweetened condensed milk.
My friends, I eat this right out of the can. It's sooooo good! Adding it to your chocolaty drink will instantly elevate it to epic proportions!
12. Maple syrup.
Real maple syrup, folks. Not the artificial stuff you pour over pancakes.
13. Pure vanilla.
Simple, but delicious!
14. Pinch of salt.
Salt brings out the flavour of any food. Cocoa too!
This coffee based liqueur pares perfectly with chocolate!
I opted to transfer my ingredients to glass jars and containers. That way, you can see all the toppings and spices at first glance. Plus, it just looks so pretty! And while I love the look of tiered serving platters for display purposes, I keep mine set up on my counter underneath the upper cabinets on a large, flat tray. I've added in my collection of mismatched Christmas mugs and I love the eclectic look they lend. It's pretty and practical and perfectly suited to a very Hygge Christmas experience!
And hey! You're welcome to come over for a mug! My home and my cocoa, are yours to share!