One of my favorite holiday family activities is hosting a small cookie decorating party for . . . and with . . . my 4 beautiful children.
We gather around a 6-foot long table that's covered with 120+ Christmas shaped sugar cookies, frosting and sprinkles galore, and mugs of hot cocoa . . . and we decorate cookies for hours and hours while listening to Christmas music and spending quality time with each other.
You can see photos of this year's cookies here.
I try to mix it up every year, by adding new cookie shapes, or serving a new hot cocoa, and by introducing new, fun icings and sprinkles.
I made these adorable reindeer marshmallows for our hot cocoa mugs this year.
They're so simple to assemble . . . and look festive perched atop a paper candy stick and placed into a cup of hot cocoa.
Although you could use cloves for the eyes, I like the simplicity of just the antlers (rosemary) and nose (cranberry secured with a toothpick).
Have you ever heard of Crock Pot Hot Cocoa?
I discovered it earlier this year . . . and love it!
One of my favorite things about it is that you pour everything into a crock pot and let the ingredients marry together . . . so simple! And then a few hours later, you have a wonderfully rich and delicious home-made hot cocoa that's made with real chocolate. YUM!
crock pot Hot Cocoa
Serves 12 - 1 cup servings
. . . . . .
6 cups milk
1 14-ounce can of Sweetened Condensed milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups of semi-sweet (or milk, or dark) chocolate chips
. . . . . .
In a slow cooker, stir together heavy cream, milks, vanilla and chocolate chips.
Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted.
Stir again before serving.
Top with your favorite fixings and enjoy!
Refrigerate any left overs.
. . . . . .
Whipped cream is an important topping when serving hot cocoa . . . and so are sprinkles when you're hosting a cookie decorating party (smile!).
I also served Starbuck's Vanilla Brulee. It reminds me of a mild cocoa that's infused with warm vanilla and caramel notes . . . YUM!
So often, it's the simple gatherings with our loved ones that are so much fun.
I hope that you feel inspired to bake sugar cookies and make reindeer marshmallows this weekend . . . and spend some quality time with the ones that you love most!
LET'S STAY in touch!