Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hot Chocolate & Hot Apple Cider Bar

For our wedding, we're having a hot chocolate and hot apple cider bar. If we get lucky, we might even have a chilly evening so we can all sip these drinks by the fireplaces. Since I'm a neurotic online researcher, I had to see what chefs and other people online recommend. I couldn't find anything for a hot cider bar but I did find a bunch for hot chocolate. Here's a list (what I'm planning on serving is bolded):

•Coffee options - instant espresso powder or Espresso Shots
•Crumbled up candy bars (Heath, Milky Way,3 Musketeers, Snickers, or Butterfingers)
•Truffles (cappuccino, dark chocolate, raspberry)
Miniature baking chips (semisweet, peanut butter,white chocolate, butterscotch or mint)
Caramel syrup or caramel squares
Peppermint candy pieces, smashed
•Flavored syrups of all sorts by Torani or Da Vinci
•Peanut Butter
Red hot candies

Cinnamon sugar
•Candied ginger
Orange twists
Chocolate shavings
•Cocoa powder
•Fresh mint leaves
Grated nutmeg
Cayenne pepper
Marshmallows (regular or chocolate ones or try online for coconut, cinnamon, caramel and peppermint)
Whipped cream (regular and flavored - see recipe below)

•Rock-candy swizzles
Peppermint sticks
•Pretzel rods (dip them into melted chocolate and coat with candy sprinkles)
Cinnamon sticks

•Grand Marnier (orange flavored)
Kahlua (coffee flavored)
Frangelico (hazelnut)
•Godiva chocolate liqueur
Malibu rum - sounds weird but tastes heavenly!

Flavored Whipped Cream: Whip 1 pint of heavy whipping cream to the soft-peak stage. Add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and the flavoring of your choice. Store chilled (up to an hour) until ready to use. Here's an example of a flavor combination: To make chocolate-pecan whipped cream, add 1 tablespoon pecan extract and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.

I couldn't find much for hot cider. Of course you've got to have cinnamon sticks for stirring. I did find a few liqueur suggestions. Any other ideas?

•Applejack in cider is my go-to fall thermos sipper. It's great for hay rides and haunted houses!
•Apple brandy

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