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The first chocolate

beverage

is believed to have been created by the 

Mayas

 over 2000 years ago, and a cocoa beverage was an essential part of Aztec culture by

1400 AD

. An early (460-480 AD) period Mayan tomb from the site of

Rio Azul

, Guatemala, had vessels with the 

Maya glyph

 for cacao on them with residue of a chocolate drink!

Cacao Pod

To make the chocolate drink, which was served cold, the Maya ground cocoa seeds into a paste, and mixed it with water, cornmeal, chilli peppers and other ingredients. Xocolatl, as they called it, contained NO sugar because sugar had yet to come to the America’s at this time) tasted spicy and bitter, unlike modern hot chocolate. They then poured the drink back and forth from a cup to a pot until a thick foam developed. Chocolate was available to Maya of all social classes, although the wealthy drank chocolate from elaborately decorated vessels.

What the Spaniards then called “chocolatl” was said to be a beverage consisting of a chocolate base flavored with vanilla and other spices that was served cold. Montezuma’s court reportedly drank about 2,000 cups of xocolatl per day, 50 of which were consumed by Montezuma himself. (Montezuma sounds like he could have been a distant relative of the Ravenous Munchkins!)

And on this Sweet & Spicy note – I will be making some more Pots de Crème very soon…mexican style!! Whoop whoop. Prepare yourselves…please!

I haven’t made any mexican hot chocolate this winter – and why not make my own! A HUGE Thank You to Kris at munchinwithmunchkin for this Dee-lish recipe/gift idea!  I’m totally making this with the Ravenous Munchkins tomorrow! Ooops, I guess everyone knows what they’ll be getting for Christmas this year! 😛 Well, at least you can bet that it’ll be delicious!!  (BTW – this makes 4 pint Mason jars)

After making my own maple marshmallows I decided to make my own Mexican hot chocolate mix. It’s very easy to do, and it lasts indefinitely. Making your own mix is also quite affordable, unlike the $4.00/cup you pay at a cafe.

Hot cocoa mix makes a great Christmas gift. You can package it in mason jars or decorative bags. Add a mug and a bag of homemade marshmallows and you have a thoughtful gift for anyone this holiday season. Enjoy!

3 cups non fat dry milk powder
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups cocoa powder
¾ cup white chocolate chips
¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
¼ Tsp. salt
2 Tsp. corn starch
½ Tsp. cinnamon
¼ Tsp. cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients.

In batches, pulse mixture in a food processor until smooth and well combined.

Store in a sealed container in a dry and dark place.

To make hot chocolate, put 1/3 cup of mixture into a mug and mix with hot water or milk.

Top with marshmallows and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Enjoy!!

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