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Cozy Up with One of Our Hot Chocolate Recipes for National Cocoa Day!


What better way to relax after being out during the holidays than to come home and cozy up with a steaming cup of hot cocoa! Today, December 13th is National Hot Cocoa Day! 

Credited with the original recipe, the Mayans were drinking chocolate made from ground-up cocoa seeds mixed with water, cornmeal, and chili peppers—very different from what we drink now. To mix the drink they would pour it back and forth from a cup to a pot until a thick foam developed, and then enjoy the beverage cold. Culturally, cocoa was an important part of the Aztec civilization by 1400 AD.  

The explorer Cortez brought the drink from Mexico to Spain. It gained popularity and was adopted by the court of King Charles V as well as the Spanish upper class. After its introduction in Spain, the drink began to be served hot, sweetened, and without chili peppers. The Spanish were very protective of their wonderful new beverage, and it was over a hundred years before news of it began to spread across Europe. 

When it hit London in the 1700s, chocolate houses, like our coffee shops, became trendy, even though chocolate was expensive. In the 1700s, the president of the Royal College of Physicians introduced from Jamaica, a recipe for mixing chocolate with milk, which made the drink more palatable in his opinion. Well, others agreed and the English started adding milk to their chocolate. At that point, people began enjoying it as an after-dinner beverage.

Here in the United States now, an instant form of the drink is popular. Mixed with hot water or milk, the packet contains mostly cocoa powder, sugar, and dry milk. We also like to add marshmallows or whipped cream. It makes the chocolatey drink creamier and sweeter. If you are to make more health conscious eating choices, questions such as "Is cocoa soy free?" is a thing that needs to be considered.

I am sharing seven fantastic hot cocoa recipes below! I hope you can take time today to cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa in whatever way you enjoy it!

  1. Chocolate Caliente: Authentic Mexican Hot Chocolate

  2. Hot Chocolate: Barcelona Style

  3. Italian Hot Chocolate

  4. French Hot Chocolate

  5. Maple Hot Chocolate

  6. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

  7. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate


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