Hot cocoa boards are the cozy new holiday trend
Grab some chocolate, get creative and stay warm all season long.
If you're looking for a sweet incentive to chill inside this winter, look no further than hot cocoa boards.
Charcuterie and other ingredients served up with intricate designs on big wooden boards has been a top trend all year long, and it looks like these chocolate-filled versions with all the fixings for seasonal sips are the dessert course.
EasyyLivin blogger Tiffany Ekmalian, whose Instagram feed is filled with beautiful variations of board-based foods, told "Good Morning America" she started her cocoa board with the "nonnegotiables and then elaborated from there" with festive additions to amp up a tray of traditional hot chocolate fixings.
"For instance, marshmallows are always a must, so I thought about all of the different variations I could add to make the board extra festive," she said. "I included peppermint, toasted vanilla and even snowflake-shaped marshmallows to the board. I wanted something crunchy that you could dip into your hot chocolate, so I snagged some chocolate biscotti and peppermint wafer sticks as well!"
Ekmalian adds on other seasonal treats to the hot cocoa board to "turn your night into a full winter experience, while getting creative and spending quality time with your loved ones." Check out her full recipe for a rich and creamy hot chocolate with a secret ingredient at the bottom of this story.
How to Arrange a Cocoa Board
Start with bowls and fill in empty space after
"I suggest grabbing a couple of small bowls or ramekins to house your small items such as crushed peppermint or loose chocolate chips," Ekmalian said. "I set the bowls out first and work around them by filling in the empty spaces with the rest of the toppings."
Add a seasonal pop of color
"Peppermint is essential for a holiday board. The peppermint gives your board a beautiful pop of color that really ties the whole board together," she shared. "My personal favorite toppings are the chocolate-covered marshmallows and a peppermint-coated wafer for dipping."
More Cocoa Board Inspiration
Check out these other variations from more food and lifestyle bloggers who have all put their spin on the seasonal trend.
EasyyLivin Hot Chocolate Recipe
3 cups milk (I used organic whole milk, but you can use whatever you’d like here)
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add your milk, half and half, cocoa powder and sugar to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together until warm and combined. Make sure not to allow your cocoa to come to a boil.
Add your chocolate chips, and continually whisk until fully combined. Add the vanilla, give it one last stir and remove from heat.
Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!
Recipe reprinted courtesy of Tiffany Ekmalian from EasyyLivin.
Editor's note: This was originally published on Dec. 1, 2020.
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