Hello everyone! I’m so excited to be a part of the Deck the Halls party with 11 other terrific bloggers. I hope you find lots of holiday inspiration with us.
I must tell you up front that my family loves hot chocolate and I’ve been wanting to do a hot cocoa bar for sometime now. I’ve seen lots of photos on Pinterest and decided to create one on the sideboard in my breakfast nook. Since hot cocoa is a popular thing at my house during the winter, I also decided to try some different gourmet cocoa mixes and have a family contest to see which was best! Okay this is a long post and I could have broken it up into two posts, but hey, since we’re already talking about hot chocolate we might as well do it all at one time!!! I also know technically there’s a difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate, but for our purposes here they’re one and the same!!!
You will see minor differences in the photos, because I would take pictures and add things as I was building the vignette.
I found the vintage European sled on ebay for a song. If you keep an eye out, you can snatch these babies up for well under $100. Pottery Barn has "found" German sleds on their website right now HERE. They were on sale a few weeks ago for $139.
I know “Baby, it’s cold outside” is probably an over-used winter phrase, but I still love it for a hot chocolate sentiment. If you only knew how many times I erased the chalk board!
I had lots of fun gathering all the materials I wanted to use including this white ironstone platter.
I laced vintage French ribbon that I got from Sunday Brocantes through this small milk glass compote that I used for my homemade marshmallows. Yes, I said HOMEMADE marshmallows.
These are the best marshmallows you will ever taste! I use the Martha Stewart recipe that Maria over at Dreamy Whites recommends. She’s having a great give-away right now so pop over to visit her and enter.
I used my glass French jam jars for the hot cocoa add-ins.
Cinnamon sticks, crushed peppermint sprinkles, peppermint and vanilla stirrers make great accompaniments. After several photo shoots, I added the labels I made….I knew something was missing! lol
Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table are two good sources for hot cocoa accoutrements.
I tried displaying the white mugs in a couple different places and finally stacked them on the side of the sled. I love the little mini evergreen I got from Trader Joe’s. A milk glass vessel tied with red burlap ribbon makes an easy Christmassy container.
This is a vignette I can leave up all winter. It can be enjoyed for a long time. The lovely grain sack ribbon came from Ann at Sutton Place Designs. She’s also one of the bloggers in our Deck the Halls party.
Here are the 3 cocoa mixes that were in the family contest to see which was best. (For all you cocoa purists out there I DO make my own homemade cocoa mix using Penzy’s dutch cocoa that I give out as gifts. I’ll share later but I wanted to try store-bought cocoa this time.)
The first one is Godiva milk chocolate. The mix is completely powdered cocoa and you use 2 tbsp. to 1 cup milk.
Next is Classic Hot Chocolate from Williams-Sonoma. It is entirely crushed pieces of Guittard chocolate and you use a whopping 5 tbsp. to 1 cup milk.
And finally, I purchased Sarabeth’s from Sur La Table. It’s a mix of powdered cocoa and chocolate pieces and you use 3 tbsp. to 1 cup milk.
Three totally different types of mixes….and the results are in…drum roll please…
Godiva and the Classic Hot Chocolate tied for first place! Sarabeth’s was our least favorite. My family had tons of fun testing the hot cocoa during the Thanksgiving holiday.
And here’s what each yummy cup looked like right before it was
devoured relaxingly sipped.
I got this vintage Santa in a jar from Etsy a couple years ago. The canvas bag with attached ribbon? Starbucks. Yes, Starbucks. They were selling them with coffee bean bags inside and I asked if I could purchase a couple without the coffee.
I’m sure you’re wondering about the mini drink whisk? I picked it up at Williams-Sonoma. I think it’s the cutest thing!
Once you've tasted a big fluffy homemade marshmallow coated with confectioner's sugar in a cup of hot cocoa you'll never go back to store-bought again! Pure decadence!
BTW…vintage milk glass pieces with reticulated or open weave edges make great presentations for food gifts when laced with ribbon! A favorite go-to holiday gift idea.
I hope I’ve inspired you to indulge in some deliciously chocolaty hot cocoa soon! What is your family’s favorite hot chocolate mix?
Please visit the other blogs on the Deck the Halls party today:
In case you missed yesterday’s posts: