Hot Cocoa Bar: Red Velvet + Hot Chocolate Desserts

Red Velvet_Hot Cocoa Desserts_Handcrafted Parties Today I have a little spring in my step because I’ve been crafting and baking up a little behind-the-scenes surprise I’ll be unveiling tomorrow…a Hot Cocoa Dessert Bar, to spoil the teachers and staff at my daughter’s elementary school.  I was an elementary school teacher for almost 10 years before I had kids and became a stay-at-home-mom, so finding ways to bless hard-working teachers is always at the top of my list.  I’ll share all the details tomorrow, but this kind of mini-party would be a wonderful way to bless so many in the service industries:  hospital staff or children’s ward (I especially love to take treats to our children’s hospital and NICU nurses, since we were frequent visitors during our son’s first few years of life), families and staff at Ronald McDonald House, and the hardworking men and women at a police station, or a fire station.

This project was the perfect way for me to start out the holiday baking season!  I turned on the Christmas music, gathered my ingredients and spent a couple hours baking and crafting and I took a moment in the middle of it all to reflect:  that this is what makes my heart sing…using my hands to create gifts in a spirit of love, to bless others.  It is a gift to *me* being able to bring a little joy and surprise into someone’s day.  That is why I love DIY and parties and recipes!

Speaking of recipes, I had such a hard time narrowing down what to bake!  So many choices, so little time.   My first choice is literally inspired by the Hot Cocoa Bar theme…what better than a chocolatey dessert with hot cocoa mixed right in?!  These bars blew me away!  They are chocolatey with a kick of espresso (you may want to cut the amount in half for non-coffee lovers) and the Hot Cocoa Buttercream Frosting is to die for!  Seriously, even if you only make the frosting and use it on a cake or cupcakes or sandwich cookies, you will not be disappointed.  These bars will definitely be on my “make again” list.

Hot Cocoa Squares_TastesOfLizzyT Hot Cocoa Squares with Hot Chocolate Buttercream Frosting  {Photo + recipe by Tastes of Lizzy T}

For my second dessert, I wanted something festive and a pop of red, so I went searching for recipes featuring a Christmas classic–red velvet.  There are a billion choices on Pinterest, and as I was scrolling through the recipe photos with my 4 year old son by my side, he stopped me in my tracks and said, “Whoa!  Those cookies are so cool!  You need to make those, Mom.”  The boy has a good eye!  The Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Crinkle Cookies by Cooking Classy are as festive as they are delicious.  Coat them heavily in powdered sugar for a dramatic white and red crinkle effect and they’ll be the perfect touch of red on your cookie platters or dessert display.  Aren’t they beautiful?

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies_CookingClassy Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Crinkle Cookies   {Photo + recipe by Cooking Classy}

If you’d like to get a jump on your holiday baking or would like to set up your own Hot Cocoa Dessert Bar, here are some of my other favorite hot cocoa and red velvet recipes to try:

Red Velvet Hot Cocoa Bar Desserts_Handcrafted Parties

Gooey Red Velvet S’mores Bars  {How Sweet Eats}

Red Velvet Desserts

Hot Chocolate Desserts_PhotobyBakerita

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Meringue {Photo + Recipe by Bakerita}

Hot Cocoa Desserts

While you pour over all the deliciousness, I’m off to pack up all my goodies and set up my Hot Cocoa Dessert Bar at school…come back tomorrow for the cute photos and DIY decor ideas!

Lisa :)

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