How to Create a Chocolate Charcuterie Board and Hot Chocolate Bar
Charcuterie boards are all the rage these days, but what do you do for people who have a sweet tooth or when you want to create a dessert that wows?
Enter the chocolate lover’s dream – a chocolate charcuterie board!
There are no rights or wrongs to creating this dessert spectacle – only the limits of your imagination. Whether you are planning this for your immediate family or a huge holiday gathering, being creative and providing a variety of options is key.
If you have an artistic flair, you may want to draw out a plan for your board, but that is certainly not necessary. Because there are no rules, anyone can do this, and children love to help place the different items on the display.
What are the best items to put on a chocolate charcuterie board?
First, you want to have the number one treat – brownies! The richer, the better, so make sure there are lots of chocolate chips and chunks inside.
After that, let your imagination run wild with items such as:
- Dried fruit (some chocolate dipped)
- Apple slices
- Rice crispy treats
- Mini pretzels and pretzel rods (yogurt or chocolate-covered, too)
- Chocolate-covered raisins and nuts
- Chocolate bark
- Chocolate truffles
- Peanut butter cups
- Chocolate dips (milk, dark, white, peanut butter, Nutella, caramel sauce)
If you love to bake, you can even get fancy with mini tarts, muffins, and cupcakes. The goal is to make your board colorful and varied. The more choices, the better. Use microwave-safe bowls or ramekins for the dips. A chocolate fondue pot or fountain makes an excellent centerpiece for a large display.
You do not need an actual board for your display. Large platters and plates work fine. You can even use a picture frame or baking sheet or cover the counter or table with butcher paper and create a tasty and decadent spread. Place covered blocks or small boxes on the board or counter for height and add depth and dimension to your display.
When you begin to arrange your display, place items to dip, such as pretzels, strawberries, marshmallows, cookies, and apple slices, around the dip bowls. Get creative with your designs, such as swirls of berries or nuts separating different items, etc. Alternate colors around the board for eye appeal. Placing larger items on the board first makes it easy to fill in with the smaller items. Sprigs of mint and edible flowers around the board add a colorful and festive touch.
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Do you want to take your winter dessert party up a notch?
If so, add a hot chocolate bar for even more holiday fun.
A hot chocolate bar is one of the easiest things to do for your holiday get-together. Reduce clean-up time with sturdy paper coffee cups – you can even find ones with lids to reduce spills. Have a permanent marker on hand to write guests’ names. You do not need a fancy hot chocolate recipe – unless you want to make it from scratch. If so, no problem – you can find plenty of recipes online.
You can simplify your hot chocolate bar by using a mix, preparing it, and filling a large coffee pot in advance or letting guests make it themselves one cup at a time. Have wooden spoons or coffee stir sticks available for your guests to use to mix in their favorite additions.
If you let guests make their own with store-bought mixes, try having a few different types. Again, if you know you have guests with food allergies, be aware that some hot cocoa mixes contain gluten.
Mason jars, little bowls, or festive cups are ideal for the toppings, and again, as with the chocolate charcuterie board, the sky’s the limit.
Here are some great topping options to include:
- White, dark, and milk chocolate chips
- Chocolate shavings
- Dark chocolate syrup
- Caramel sauce
- Peanut butter sauce
- Mini marshmallows
- Toffee bits
- Toasted coconut
- Crushed peppermints or mini candy canes
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice shakers
- Cinnamon sticks (also great stirrers)
- Coarse sea salt
- Pirouette cookies (they do double duty here and on the charcuterie board)
Do not forget to have cans of whipped cream available.
You may want to include bottles of whisky, rum, Kahlua, Frangelico, or Bailey’s Irish Cream for the adults. Since not everyone drinks hot cocoa, cider and a selection of teas are excellent additions.
Create little signs for each item. Decorate your table or counter to make it more festive, if desired, and enjoy!
Check out these websites for more inspiration: