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  • Kara Hunt

Hot, Hot, Hot, Hot Chocolate

So hot chocolate bars are a ton of fun. I set one up in my house, and we're loving it. My waistline doesn't particularly appreciate it, but that's a problem for Future Kara (as my daughter would say.)

I found the chalkboard sign at an after Halloween close-out sale at Michael's for $3, and my daughter already had the paint to write on it. She also had the labels for the jars, so that was convenient.

As for the jars themselves, my mom had them stashed away in her cupboard. I've been trying to think of the perfect use for them ever since I found them. By jove, I think I've done it!

So what's in the jars? I have soft peppermint sticks, toffee bits, Pirouette cookies, mini chocolate chips and marshmallows, mini and large. Also added to the tray, which is a fun Christmas one I've had for a lot of years, but never had a great use for until now, there is caramel syrup, chocolate syrup and sea salt.

Oh, and when I can keep them around (my husband devours them on sight), chocolate oranges. The big red canister contains hot cocoa mix, and I have a hot chocolate machine I keep next to the tray, so delicious hot chocolate is just some hot water and a few scoops away! Whipped cream is also an important element, but I can't keep that on the cupboard all the time for obvious reasons.

For Pie Day (a holiday I invented. It's the day before Thanksgiving because I always did like to eat my dessert first), I made a big batch of crock pot hot chocolate from a recipe I found online. It was nice to have on hand, but truthfully, a little disappointing for the amount and expense of the ingredients. My husband didn't even like it, and he's a major hot chocolate fan.

My favorite combo so far to top off my hot chocolate is a few mini marshmallows, a large dab or squirt of whip cream (depending on whether you have the tub or the squirt kind), a drizzle of caramel and chocolate syrup, a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips, and a little dash of sea salt. Yum!

So add some sweetness to these cold, winter days and snuggle up with a big mug of hot chocolate and your favorite Christmas movie. Awww, life just doesn't get any better! (Unless you throw in a big bowl of popcorn, of course.)

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