The greatest holiday memories are often paired with a steaming mug of homemade hot cocoa! So, what better excuse to throw a big hot cocoa party for you closest family members and friends this holiday season? Make a large batch of decadent hot chocolate and accompany it with all fixings, from marshmallows and crushed candy to whipped cream and more. With this recipe, there’s plenty to go around for everyone (and it’s way better than the microwave stuff). When your mug is getting low, top it off with a little more…and repeat as many times as you like. And, a Christmas party isn’t a Christmas party without a platter of delicious cookies, so don’t forget to grab one (or two) to pair with your drink.
How to Make a Big (Party-Sized) Batch of Hot Chocolate
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Deluxe Hot Chocolate Buffet
What you’ll need:
- 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker
- Wire whisk
- Mugs for serving
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
- 2 quarts (8 cups) milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
In your slow cooker, combine the unsweetened chocolate, chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Cover and cook the mixture on high for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so until the chocolate is completely melted.
Next, with a wire whisk, stir in two cups of milk until the mixture is smooth. Gradually stir in the remaining six cups of milk and the vanilla. Once everything is combined, cover the slow cooker and cook on high for an additional two hours, or until the mixture is hot.
Just before serving the hot chocolate, take your wire whisk and stir the mixture again. Reduce the heat to low and lay out a ladle and mugs so guests can serve themselves and top with their choice of toppings.
How to Build a Party-Worthy Toppings Bar
The topping possibilities for hot chocolate are almost endless! Keep things classic by sprinkling the top of your mug with a hefty handful of mini marshmallows, or up the decadence by adding a dollop of whipped cream garnished with crushed cookies or mini chocolate chips. Build the best hot chocolate bar ever for your party by serving your big batch of cocoa with these topping options to start.
You can’t go wrong with arguably the most classic hot cocoa topping—mini marshmallows! They will melt just slightly when you sprinkle them on top of the cocoa and give your mug a snowy, festive look.
Whether homemade or from a can, it’s hard to resist finishing off a steaming hot cup of cocoa with a generous amount of whipped cream. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top of extra festive flavor.
Add crushed candy on top of whipped cream or marshmallows for a punch of flavor and color. We love crushed peppermints or toffee bits. Don’t want to crush any candy? Top your cocoa and whipped cream the easy way with mini chocolate chips.
The only thing better than crushed candy on top of your hot cocoa is crushed cookies. Might we suggest crushed Oreos™?
Add a punch of Christmas flair to your hot cocoa by adding red and green sprinkles on top of your whipped cream.
Who needs a spoon to stir your drink when you can use a cinnamon stick? It’s practical AND tastes delicious.
On the counter, keep your slow cooker plugged in and set on low so the cocoa stays warm and put all of your selected toppings in little serving bowls with spoons so guests can pick and choose their favorites and build their own mug of hot cocoa. Then, huddle up by the fire or play a game, sip and enjoy!
What did we miss? Does your family have a favorite topping to serve with hot cocoa?
Cookies to Serve at Your Hot Cocoa Party
The only thing better than a mug of hot chocolate is a mug of hot chocolate served with a plate of freshly baked cookies. (‘Tis the season, right?) Here are our favorite cookie recipes to set out on a platter at your party that pair perfectly with a cup o’ cocoa.