Thursday, January 2, 2014

How to enjoy an easy, everyday hot cocoa bar

If you enjoyed a hot cocoa bar or two during the holidays, you'll love this easy and inexpensive way to keep a mini hot cocoa bar at the ready all winter long.

Christmas may be over, but for many of us the chilly winter season has only just begun. That means fun-filled skiing and snowboarding weekends, marathon snow shoveling sessions and cozy evenings spent indoors. But no matter how you spend your time during the cold winter months, there is nothing that warms you from the inside out like a big mug of hot cocoa.

So, up your hostessing game by staying prepared with a mini hot cocoa bar to warm your guests (or just yourself) this winter. Simply keep some regular and white cocoa powder stocked, a bottle of flavored syrup and perhaps some Bailey's, a can of whipped cream and most importantly a wide selection of toppings.

Our favorite way to maintain the fun of a hot cocoa bar, but in a more compact, easy to store format is by keeping a selection of toppings in a Masala Dabba . These uber affordable, Indian spice boxes are fantastic for a variety of different pantry storage uses, including keeping a mini hot cocoa bar nicely organized. Simply head to your local bulk food store, load up on toppings like mini chocolate chips, toffee nibs, mini marshmallows, and salted caramel sprinkles. Store a sampling of each in the small cups that are included with the masala dabba and then cover the whole thing up with the lid. The toppings are kept air tight and can be quickly brought out for unexpected company or for a cozy movie night in with your significant other.

If you live in a multicultural area, a Masala dabba can be easily found at most any Indian grocery store. For those who don't have access to these stores, check out Amazon for a wide selection of dabbas to suit any budget.