For the past few weeks my daughter and I have mulled over the idea of creating a hot chocolate bar for her youth groups' progressive dinner. While she dreamed of homemade marshmallows, hand crafted treat labels, and displays that looked like they had come "right out of a magazine" (no pressure:), I was contemplating the logistics of serving a group of teenagers a hot beverage. I surfed blogs and browsed Pinterest until I discovered a recipe for Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa at Mrs. Happy Homemaker.
Breaking my cardinal rule of never serving to guests a recipe that I had not previously attempted, I purchased the ingredients and added it to my "Hot Chocolate Bar" planning sheet. Being slightly skeptical, however, I also purchased some dry hot cocoa mix and had a kettle of water simmering on my stove the night of the party.
A few hours before the group of ninth graders was scheduled to pull up in front of our house on a hay wagon, I placed all of the hot chocolate ingredients in my crock pot and hoped for the best. It did not ease my nerves when my husband peered into the white liquid in my slow cooker and said, "What is that?!" The recipe said to stir the mixture of whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla, and milk chocolate chips occasionally, but in my nervousness, I upped the stirring up to frequently. After the mixture had been in the crock pot for about an hour, bits of chocolate started to rise to the top of the liquid and then after a whisk it began to look like hot cocoa. All of my anxiety disappeared as soon as I sampled this creamy and flavorful warm beverage.
While I busied myself with putting the finishing touches on the Hot Chocolate Bar, the cocoa continued to simmer in the crock pot. A few minutes before the guests were scheduled to arrive, I stirred the liquid with my immersion blender. That created the frothy texture that I desired and added to its creaminess.
It turns out I didn't need the packet of hot cocoa mix after all because this Crock Pot Hot Chocolate is decadent and delicious. My daughter ladled portions of it into mugs and then the teens helped themselves to a variety of marshmallows, whipped cream, crushed candy canes, and a variety of other toppings. This recipe is already a holiday favorite of our family. Merry Christmas!
Crock Pot Hot Chocolate Recipe
inspired by Mrs. Happy Homemaker
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounces
6 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package milk chocolate chips (11.5 ounces or approximately 2 cups)
- Add whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and vanilla to crock pot. Whisk.
- Stir in milk chocolate chips.
- Cover crock pot and cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring about every 15 minutes. When chocolate chips have fully melted and mixture is combined you may want to reduce your crock pot to the 'warm' setting.
- Prior to serving whisk mixture vigorously or stir with an immersion blender to froth.
- Serve plain or with a variety of toppings such as marshmallows, whipped cream, crushed candy canes, M&M's, and more.
Linked to the following sweet blog parties:
Made By You Monday, Show Me What Ya Got, Mouthwatering Monday, Fabulous Friday, Holiday Haven's Christmas Party, What We Made Wednesday, Taking A Timeout Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, These Chicks Cooked, TGIF, Craft Junkie Too, I'm Lovin It, Fun Stuff Fridays, Sweets for a Saturday, Handmade on Hump Day, Weekend Wrap Up, Feature Friday, Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Sundae Scoop, Shine On Fridays, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Best of 2011,