National Cocoa Day is celebrated each year on December 13. A cup of cocoa or hot chocolate is the perfect way to set the scene for the upcoming winter holidays.
The terms hot cocoa and hot chocolate are pretty much interchangeable. The difference being that hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. Hot chocolate uses ground chocolate containing cocoa butter mixed with hot milk.
Origin of Cocoa
The first chocolate beverage was created by the Mayans over 2000 years ago. It became an essential part of the Aztec civilization by 1400 and eventually found it's way from Mexico to the New World. The original cocoa drink was created by grinding cocoa seeds into a paste and mixing it with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other ingredients. This first cocoa was very bitter, since sugar had not yet been discovered, but was highly prized by the elite of the Aztec world.
It was also thought to have medicinal properties to combat stomach ailments. In our modern times, the health benefits are known to come from the antioxidants in the chocolate.
|Snowman Hot Cocoa Bomb|
Or ~ you could make a quick and fun cup of cocoa with a Cocoa Bomb! This snowman cocoa bomb, and other cute designs, such as a unicorn cocoa bomb, are handmade by ItzMyPartyCakery on Etsy.
Creamy Hot Chocolate Recipe from Scratch by Allrecipes:
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- ⅓ cup boiling water
- 3 ½ cups milk
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup half-and-half cream
Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.
*For an even quicker way to make homemade hot chocolate, using cocoa powder and chocolate chips, check out this recipe from Allison featured on her blog Celebrating Sweets.
Ways to Serve
A cup of hot cocoa is delicious served in a variety of ways. Add one or more of the following toppings for a delicious warm drink on a cold winter's day.
- Whipped cream
- Cinnamon and sugar
- candy canes
- toffee bits
- Peppermint Patties
- butterscotch candies, crushed
- candy sprinkles
- cinnamon cereal
- mini chocolate chips
- chopped nuts
Pick a pretty Cocoa Mug
|Vintage Carnation Hot Cocoa Mug|
Use your favorite mug for your cocoa or hot chocolate. Or pick out a new one for this winter season, such as this vintage 1980s Carnation Hot Cocoa Mug available on Etsy in the shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts.
Mark December 13 on your calendar for National Cocoa Day and enjoy the relaxing and warming taste you've come to enjoy in a delicious cup of Cocoa.
Cocoa Day Review written by (c) Wednesday Elf on 12/5/2020
- For those on a Keto Diet, Margaret Schindel has perfected the Ultimate Keto Hot Chocolate Recipe.
- For making your own homemade Cocoa Bombs, check out Sylvestermouse Cynthia's recipe.
FOLLOW US ON: