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Create Your Own Holiday Cocoa

December 18, 2012

Did you think I disappeared??  You’re not that lucky.

I was remembering the other day sitting at my grandmother’s house in Georgia with my cousins gathered around the fireplace in the kitchen (it’s a really old Southern house) on the brisk morning dunking slices of toast into hot chocolate.  That was a glimpse into heaven.

I hope that wasn’t a foreshadow of the Mayan predictions this Friday!

The Mayans were the first to cultivate the cocoa bean not only for consumption as a drink and food, but for religious offerings, tax, and currency.  The Spanish took it back  to Europe during their conquering quests in Mesoamerica.  Europeans began to mix coca with milk and sugar (an unknown ingredient in the Americas at the time).  and Chocolate was born.  In the 19th century, a guy by the name of Coennaad Johannes van Houtan created a thing called the “Dutch Process” alkalizes cocoa, improves its color and makes the bitter chocolate more palatable, and is the basis for cocoa powder and chocolate making today.

Cocoa has some really cool health benefits as well.  Dutch Process cocoa is, again alkaline (something with a pH of 7-14), which is a good thing because our bodies try to maintain pH level of 7.  Other cocoa processing leaves cocoa acidic (pH below 7).  It was found that cocoa (2 TBS) has twice the antioxidants of red wine, 2-3 times that of green tea and 4 time that in black tea.  Warm cocoa tends to release more of the antioxidants than cold, so keep that in mind.

Cocoa also makes people feel good (ask any woman!).  It can lower blood pressure, suppress the symptoms of migraines,  and contains several stimulants like caffeine and serotonin.   Besides it jut tastes good.

So lets have a little cocoa.  You can buy good pre-made cocoa mix but, again I ask why when we can make our own.  And here’s how

Homemade Cocoa Mix

  • 1 cup Dutch Porcess Cocoa
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (yes, I mean it)

Pulse everything in a food processor, or combine in a stand mixer on low with the whisk attachment.  You can do it by hand as well.

To make a cup o’ cocoa, use 2-3 tbs of you mix with warm milk. Top with a marshmallow, a little whipped cream, or spike that puppy up.

  • Peppermint schnapps is a classic, making a Snuggler (the cold version is a Peppermint Patty).  Licor 43, amaretto, and marischino liqueur are yummy too.
  • Rum, never can go wrong with dark rum (Caliche and Blackbeard Spiced rock here)
  • Believe it or not cocoa loves tequila (grate a little cinnamon on top as well)
  • My personal favorite is a shot of rum with a drop of peppermint extract tossed in for good measure.

This makes a great economical, and wonderful homemade holiday gift as well.  Get yourself a couple dozen 8 oz Mason jar, some ribbon or twine and your in business .

So a toast (with hot cocoa and toast) to all of you on this very special year as we celebrate many holidays and the contributions of the Mayan world.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 7, 2013 11:44 am

    “Create Your Own Holiday Cocoa The Santa Fe Barman”
    honestly causes myself imagine a somewhat extra.
    I actually adored each and every particular component of this blog
    post. I appreciate it ,Gudrun

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