This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.
When I was growing up, there was nothing better after a full day of sledding and snow fort building than a mug of hot chocolate. My sister and I would come home with frozen fingers and runny noses and stir our hot chocolate with candy canes. I still enjoy hot chocolate on cold winter nights even though I don’t build snow forts anymore.
Easy hot chocolate
I used to just make one of those packet hot chocolate mixes because I didn’t want to take the time to make it from scratch like my mom did—even though I know it was so much more delicious. Then I heard about Starbucks® Hot Cocoa K-Cup® pods and had to try them! I hoped they could combine my love for delicious Starbucks drinks, my Keurig, and the hot chocolate of my childhood. And they did! One rich, creamy sip and I wanted to get out a candy cane and start stirring it.
With the press of a button on my Keurig, I can have a Classic or Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa! Both flavors can be found wherever you buy groceries and are made with real cocoa and non-fat milk for a rich, creamy, chocolaty taste.
Starbucks Cozy Collection
Starbucks must have realized that their hot cocoa makes me want to curl up with a blanket and snuggle with my hubby. They sent me their Cozy Collection complete with hot cocoa and a blanket!
This Starbucks Cozy Collection not only includes the softest blanket you’ll ever feel—great for cuddling or napping on the couch but also has
- 1 Classic and 1 Salted Carmel K-Cup pod
- A Starbucks mug
- A box of cute rectangular marshmallows
- Shortbread cookies perfect for dunking
- A $5 Starbucks Card
- A $1.50 savings coupon and more!
Sound awesome? You bet it is! Want one for yourself? You MUST head over to the Starbucks Hot Cocoa site and enter to win one of your own!
Easy hot chocolate bar
The Starbucks Cozy Collection inspired me to hop on a trend I’ve seen at weddings and parties lately: a hot chocolate bar. Usually, you either have the packet mixes and hot water or premade hot chocolate sitting in an urn getting cold. Doesn’t sound like much fun to me—imagine the clean up with powder everywhere.
Recently we had family visiting from London and the Philippines. There were family members of all ages, kids to great-grandparents. I set up a hot chocolate bar with my Keurig brewer and Starbucks Hot Cocoa and it was a hit with everyone.
Supplies needed for an easy hot chocolate bar
- Keurig K-cup brewer
- Starbucks Hot Cocoa (for a variety, include both Classic and Salted Caramel)
- Mugs or disposable coffee cups with cardboard sleeves
- Toppings and mix-ins. Here is what I had on our hot chocolate bar:
- Extra creamy whip cream
- Caramel bits
- Little marshmallows
- Mini chocolate chips
- Crème De Menthe baking chips
- Pirouette Chocolate Fudge Creme Filled Rolled Wafers
- Bowls, cups, and/or bottles to hold your toppings and mix-ins. I used some fun test tubes and a set of milk jars for mine.
A fun hot chocolate bar party is easy with Starbucks Hot Cocoa K-cups!Click To Tweet
Hot chocolate bar tips
- Make sure young kids aren’t using the Keurig alone.
- Keep an eye on the water level in the Keurig so you can refill as needed. It might even be a good idea to keep jugs of water under the table for quick access.
- If you include whip cream (and why wouldn’t you), keep it on ice or find a way to keep it cool if it will sit out for long periods of time.
- Little hands make big messes. With so many toppings, they can get thrown everywhere. Keep a crumb scraper and a small trashcan handy to easily scrape away messes periodically.
Peppermint hot cocoa recipe
I pretty much tried all of the awesome toppings and mix-ins on our hot chocolate bar and found a grown-up version of my candy cane stirred hot chocolate of childhood. It tastes just as good but doesn’t require the extra time for the flavor to mix in and doesn’t give you sticky fingers!
Tastes like cocoa stirred with a candy cane, but doesn't give you sticky fingers!
- 1 Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa K-cup
- 1 Tbsp Crème De Menthe baking chips
- Extra creamy whip cream (optional)
- 1/2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 Pirouette Chocolate Fudge Creme Filled Rolled Wafer (optional)
- Fill Keurig brewer with water.
- Put the Crème De Menthe baking chips in a mug.
- Brew the Starbucks Classic Hot Cocoa over the baking chips using the 8oz setting on your Keurig.
- Stir until combined.
- (optional) Top with whip cream and mini chocolate chips and serve with a Perouette wafer.
What are your favorite mix-ins for hot cocoa? Have you ever been to a hot cocoa bar party?
Don’t forget to enter to win your own Starbucks Cozy Collection!