Since Halloween, we've seen what could be the most creative charcuterie boards ever. Remember the Thanksgiving charcuterie boards shaped like turkeys, charcuterie chalets that put gingerbread houses to shame, and Halloween boards shaped like the Sanderson sisters? Now get ready, because we’re here to serve you some new holiday inspiration. What we’re most excited about this holiday season is this sweet hot cocoa board trend.
Unlike your classic charcuterie boards filled with meats, cheese, and crackers, these boards are filled with candy, cookies, chocolate and more marshmallows than Buddy the Elf has probably ever consumed (and that’s a lot!).
The idea behind these boards is that you can serve up a rich hot cocoa drink that is easily customized. From stirring in peppermint sticks to dunking gingerbread men, you can create a cup of holiday cheer that might make you forget for a split second that 2020 has been anything but sweet.
With most of the sweet ingredients coming from Target and Trader Joe’s, it’s easy to recreate these festive hot cocoa boards at home. Another great place to find these fun fixings is from the Dollar Tree. Now get ready to dip your cookies into this fun and festive trend. It’s perfect for a date night in or a family activity on the weekend. No matter when you do it or how elaborate you get, we promise you won't be disappointed if you serve up a tasty hot cocoa board.
Common Ingredients for a Hot Cocoa Board
Some top ingredients that the creators we spoke with used include:
Marshmallows, creme filled chocolate cookies, peppermint dipped pretzels, chocolate chips, chocolate dipped marshmallows, powdered donuts, mini candy canes, ginger cookies, whipped cream, hazelnut cream filled wafers, Oreos, chocolate-covered pretzels,
01 of 09
“What I love most about my board is definitely my miniature marshmallow mugs because not only are they cute but they are the perfect serving size for kids,” said Mimi Markopoulos of @lifeoncrosscutway. Since her household isn't big on drinking hot cocoa, she wanted to include snacks on the board that they could enjoy outside of the tasty treat.
02 of 09
Spice Up Your Life
Chevonne Dixon of @thiswellplannedlife wanted a fun activity to do with her children on a cold day and created this spice-filled hot cocoa board. With a mix of fixings that add flavor to the rich hot cocoa to treats that you can dip and eat, there are so many fun drinkable combinations on this board. Dixon’s favorite is adding candy cane to the hot chocolate for a minty rich taste.
03 of 09
Jessie Yarborough of Indigo Platter Co typically focuses on charcuterie and cheese platters, but this year she wanted to do something seasonal and fun. “I know a lot of clients have kiddos and I thought it would be fun to have something on the menu for both adults and kiddos. Plus, it’s kind of nostalgic for me. Who doesn’t love hot cocoa and sweets around Christmas time?”
To make a big statement, more is more. Yarborough gifted the demo board to her neighbors and their son's eyes lit up when he saw it. “He couldn’t believe it! He said, “we’re definitely having a holly jolly Christmas tonight”!”
04 of 09
Cozy Night In
Whether you are entertaining for Christmas or just want to curl up on a cold Friday night and watch a movie, Janan Assaf of At Home with Janan, believes a hot cocoa bar is the perfect compliment. “Setting up your own hot cocoa bar is so fun. Kids and adults of all ages truly love making their own drinks and adding their own special preferences,” says Assaf. “It is such a versatile board in the sense that you can make it during the holidays and theme it for Christmas, or you can make one and enjoy it on any cold winter night!”Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Salty and Sweet
We’re so in love with this Chanukah board that Rosa Seidenwar created.
“The best moments can be the simplest, sitting around the candle light with your family and drinking hot cocoa,” she says. Assembling the board was quick and easy because the majority of the board was created using store-bought items. “I am all about the quickest and easiest shortcuts while still making everything gorgeous,” said Seidenwar. “Once I gathered all the products it took about 15 minutes to put the board together (maybe even less!)”
Since hot cocoa is sweet, Seidenwar wanted to embrace the salty and sweet combo of adding chocolate-covered pretzels to the board. “I am all about the salty and sweet combo, so I'm definitely putting [them] in my cup. The chocolate-covered sticks are also perfect for stirring your drink!”
06 of 09
Topp It Off
“My recipe calls for cocoa powder, AND chocolate chips but I’m telling you.. it’s worth it. I used to be the powdered packet kind of gal, until I came up with this,” she said. When it comes to creating a fun and delicious cup of hot cocoa, the toppings make all of the difference. From snowflake-shaped marshmallows to snowmen, she nailed it.
Between Target and Trader Joe’s she was able to snag everything she needed to complete her board. “Marshmallows are ALWAYS A MUST, and peppermint is essential for a holiday board,” she says. “I used a variety of marshmallows from snowflake shaped, to peppermint flavored, to chocolate-dipped marshmallows. Extra chocolate chips in a small bowl (whipped cream is a great option here as well), and peppermint, chocolate wafers, and biscotti for dipping into your cocoa!”
If you want to spread the love with someone who can't enjoy the board in person, send them a sweet care package. Tiffany was also able to send a hot cocoa care package with toppings home alongside a cocoa bomb to her sister who wasn’t able to make it.
07 of 09
Stay Home Saturdays
In an effort to come up with fun, stay-at-home ideas for both the family and date nights, Amanda Liechty of The Paddling PA started a series for just that. “I wanted to come up with fun activities for families or date night ideas to help encourage people to stay home but to have something fun to do as we head into winter,” she said. “We made our hot chocolate and snuggled up to watch my daughter’s new favorite movie, Home Alone.”
With most of her supplies from Target, she created a delicious hot cocoa board filled with toppings. “Target’s wonderland section has so many fun treats that are perfect for hot chocolate,” she says” “Most things I grabbed from Target were $1, making this board super cost effective.”
08 of 09
Frosty the Cocoa Man
The Work from Home Chef created a hot cocoa board that really sets the mood and screams holiday magic. “This board helps create conversations on the variety of treats, and serves as not only a splurge for your taste buds, but is visually entertaining as well,” says TWFHC.
There’s no right or wrong way to create these boards, but TWFHC suggests filling it in completely, leaving absolutely zero gaps. “Make sure to add a variety of large and small items, and always go for those extra special seasonal items.”Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
All Hands on Deck
Rosio Bernal, better known as @thetargetexplorer, wanted to kick off the holiday season the best way possible, with a cup of hot cocoa.
What she loves the most about the hot cocoa board is that there are no rules. “While I put mini marshmallows, cookies, and chocolate chips on my hot cocoa board, you can add your favorite goodies to your board and it will always feel fun and festive.” And it doesnt take too long to make. “It took me about 30 mins to create this board. What is wonderful about this little project is that you can turn this into a family activity and have your little ones help in the fun.”