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Spiced Hot Chocolate


Chocolate was once used as a currency in Ancient Mexico and the Aztecs were drinking a pungent bitter drink they called "xocolatl" as far back as 1000 BC. Spaniards are responsible for adding sugar, calling the drink “chocolatl” and trying to keep it a secret. The French, Germans, and English soon discovered how to make hot chocolate and the secret was out. English chocolate houses were for the rich since there were high import duties on the cocoa beans. It is no wonder this drink is so popular, cocoa contains DL-phenylalanine: an antidepressant and pain killer.

    4 cups whole milk
    2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
    6 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
    Pinch salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ¼ teaspoon almond extract
    Sweetened whipped cream and nutmeg or marshmallows

1.  In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the milk on medium heat with    
     the cinnamon sticks.

2.  In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cocoa and salt. Whisk into the
     hot milk, add extracts.

3.  Pour into four mugs and serve with marshmallows or
     whipped cream and nutmeg.

     Variation: Omit cinnamon and serve with peppermint sticks.

      Makes 4 mugs


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Seasoned with Love
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