The toppings are what make this hot chocolate special — set up a bar with espresso shots, marshmallows and crumbled candy bars and invite your guests to flavor and garnish as they desire. Use the slow cooker to keep warm throughout the party or serve in mugs immediately.
Hot Chocolate Bar
4 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1 toffee candy bar, crumbled (recommended: Heath Bar)
Cinnamon-Sugar, recipe follows
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the hot chocolate: In a medium saucepan, heat 4 cups of the milk over low heat, being very careful not to let the milk boil. In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa, sugar, and the remaining 1/2 cup milk. Add the cocoa mixture to the warm milk, and continue to warm the cocoa until hot.
Pour into 4 mugs and serve along with the garnishes.
For the hot chocolate bar: On a large serving tray, arrange the mugs of hot chocolate, a small pitcher of espresso shots, a bowl of crumbled toffee candy bar, a bowl of mini-marshmallows, a bowl of shaved chocolate, and a bowl of Cinnamon-Sugar. Invite your guests to flavor and garnish their hot chocolate as they desire.
Cinnamon-Sugar: Cut the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise. Using the back of a knife, scrape along the inside of the vanilla bean to collect the seeds. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into a small bowl. Add sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside in a small serving bowl.