Kid-friendly Warm Cowgirl Cocoa Mugs Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Warm Cowgirl Cocoa Mugs

Recipe: Warm Cowgirl Cocoa Mugs

Warm Cowgirl Cocoa Mugs

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by (Gulsina/Shutterstock)
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
10 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Warm Cowgirl Cocoa Mugs

Because it's made with chocolate chips, Warm Cowgirl Cocoa is even more chocolate-y than your standard cocoa. Once you've tried it, you may never want to go back!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • drizzle :

    to trickle a thin stream of a liquid ingredient, like icing or sauce, over food.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • melt :

    to heat a solid food so it becomes liquid, like butter or chocolate.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist



Warm Cowgirl Cocoa Mugs

  • 1/2 C dark or milk chocolate chips **(for NUT/DAIRY/SOY ALLERGY use Enjoy Life chocolate chips)**
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of black pepper or chili powder
  • 3 C milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**

Food Allergen Substitutions

Warm Cowgirl Cocoa Mugs

  • Dairy: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips in Cocoa Mugs. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk for milk in Cocoa Mugs.
  • Nut: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips in Cocoa Mugs.
  • Soy: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips in Cocoa Mugs.


Warm Cowgirl Cocoa Mugs

measure + melt

Measure and combine 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 pinch of cinnamon, and 1 pinch of black pepper (or chili powder) in a large saucepan over low heat. Add a splash of milk and stir until melty and smooth.

drizzle + whisk

Slowly drizzle the remaining 3 cups of milk into the pot, whisking constantly until all the milk and chocolate is combined. Turn the heat to medium low. Heat for about 5 minutes or until the milky mixture is steaming. Add a dash of cinnamon to the bottom of each mug or cup before serving this belly warming cocoa concoction!

Surprise Ingredient: Chocolate + Cocoa!

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Photo by New Africa/

Hi! I'm Chocolate!

"Hello! Let me introduce myself! I can be dark brown, light brown, or even white. I'm sometimes bitter, sometimes a little sweet, and often very sweet. I add flavor and excitement to many other foods! Have you guessed yet? I'm Chocolate! You may be familiar with me from candy bars or chocolate sundaes, but I can liven up many other foods, too, including chili, butter, and milk!"


  • The cacao (kahKOW) tree is native to equatorial South America and the rainforests of Mesoamerica. It was first used 5,300 years ago by indigenous people in South America. Mesoamericans who lived in the rainforests of Mexico and Central America domesticated the tree about 1,500 years later. They drank chocolate as a bitter beverage—far from the sweet treat most of us are familiar with today. 
  • The Mayan people of Central and South America used cocoa as currency and as medicine: it was very valuable, just like vanilla! In fact, it was so precious that they made counterfeit cocoa beans out of clay and avocado seeds!
  • The Aztec people are a nomadic tribe in Northern Mexico. When the Aztec empire began to expand, they demanded that the Mayan people pay tribute to them through gifts of cacao. 
  • The Aztec people ruled until Spaniards arrived and conquered the land and its people. The Spanish explorers took cacao beans back to Europe, where they experimented by adding cinnamon and sugar to sweeten it. For a long time, only aristocratic people enjoyed chocolate.
  • Princess Maria Theresa married Louis the 16th from France and gave him chocolate as a wedding present! Demand for chocolate soon grew very fast, and as a result, people were enslaved on plantations to grow cacao to meet the high demand.
  • In 1847, Joseph Fry invented the first chocolate bar. By 1907, Hershey was manufacturing millions of chocolate kisses each day.  
  • Cacao trees grow best in the rainforest underneath the branches of taller trees. However, they won't bear fruit until they are at least three to five years old. 
  • Most early Spanish sources refer to chocolate as "cacahuatl" (cah-cah-Hwat), which translates to "cacao water."
  • The word chocolate comes from a combination of a Mayan word for hot, "chocol," and an Aztec word for water, "atl."

How Chocolate is Made

  • All chocolate comes from the beans of the cacao tree. Cacao trees produce pods containing pulp-covered seeds. Before cacao is processed, it would be hard for most of us to recognize it as chocolate! This is because the pulp-covered seeds taste bitter and raw and look nothing like the chocolate products we see in stores.
  • The seeds go through a process called fermentation, and then they are dried and made into nibs before being turned into chocolate. 
  • A cacao pod contains about 30 to 50 almond-sized seeds—enough to make about seven milk chocolate candy bars! 
  • After roasting and grinding cocoa beans, chocolate liquor is left, which is about equal parts cocoa solids and cocoa butter. After the cocoa butter is mostly extracted, the result is dry cocoa solids. Cocoa powder is the powdered form. Natural cocoa is a light brown color and tastes bitter. 

  • Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten created the "Dutch process" method in the early 19th century to reduce the acidity in natural cocoa powder by treating the beans with alkaline salts. As a result, Dutch process cocoa is less bitter and has a dark brown color.

How to Enjoy Cocoa & Chocolate

  • You can add unsweetened cocoa to milk with sugar, honey, or stevia for a delicious and warming beverage. You can also add it to smoothies for a delicious chocolaty taste and an extra hit of magnesium and polyphenols. 
  • Chocolate comes in many forms: bars, kisses, chips, powder, shavings, puddings, syrups, and sauces.
  • Unconventional chocolate flavor pairings: cardamom, lavender, wasabi, chili, chipotle, sea salt, lime, matcha, curry, ginger, mint, figs, fennel, sesame, parmesan, and Earl Grey tea. Seriously, what doesn't go well with chocolate?! Can you think of any other fun and delicious pairings?


  • Dark chocolate helps protect your heart, blood, and brain! To get the full health benefits of chocolate, choose at least 85% cocoa content or higher. The higher percentage makes the chocolate more bitter, but those bitter compounds, called polyphenols, are antioxidants that provide several health benefits. Many people prefer very dark chocolate!
  • Polyphenols help prevent heart disease by maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, keeping vessels flexible and allowing the blood in our body to flow easier (good circulation), and reducing inflammation. In addition, they help control blood sugar levels, lower cancer risk, and boost immunity. Polyphenols also promote good digestion.  
  • Cocoa is a great source of magnesium. We need magnesium for good health! For strong bones, healthy teeth, and as a building block for proteins within the body.
  • Cocoa can protect our teeth?! Cacao contains antibacterial elements that fight tooth decay. However, this is true with unsweetened cocoa only, as most mass-produced chocolate has a lot of sugar. We know what sugar does to our teeth—it causes decay! 
  • One study has shown that the smell of chocolate may actually relax you by increasing theta waves in the brain!

History of Hot Chocolate!

Photo by vasanty/
  • Hot chocolate originated with the chocolate drink made by the Mayans around 500 BCE. They mixed chocolate seeds, ground into a paste, with water, cornmeal, and chili peppers. They would usually have the bitter beverage cold. Later, the Aztecs in Mesoamerica drank both cold and hot chocolate mixed with vanilla.
  • Cortés brought chocolate and the method for making hot chocolate back to Spain from Mexico when he returned in 1528. Initially, only wealthy Spaniards could afford to consume chocolate and drinks made from it. Eventually, chocolate spread across Europe, and sugar was added to make the chocolate less bitter. Then, sometime in the 17th century, milk was added to the mix, and hot chocolate became more like the version we drink today.
  • In the country of Trinidad and Tobago, they drink "cocoa tea," which is not really tea. Spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, are added with chopped dark chocolate or cocoa powder (or both) and sweetener to hot milk and simmered for a few minutes until the chocolate is melted and everything is dissolved and blended. SFC has a cold version of the recipe called "Creamy Trinidadian Cocoa Tea."

Let's Learn About Texas!

Photo by Joe Belanger/
  • Texas is in the south-central part of the United States. Its size is 268,596 square miles, the second-largest state in area after Alaska, and it is the second most populated state after California, with over 29 million people. 
  • Austin is the capital city of Texas and is known for its music scene. However, Houston has the most people. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area is the largest in the state and the fourth largest in the country.
  • Texas' nickname is "The Lone Star State," and "The Lone Star" is on its state flag and seal. Once belonging to Mexico, it became an independent republic in 1836. It joined the union in 1845 as the 28th state.
  • The top industries in Texas are oil and petroleum, agriculture (including cattle and cotton), aeronautics, defense, technology, and tourism. Texas has more than 16 million heads of cattle, the most in the US.
  • The Rio Grande River is the largest in Texas. It is 1,896 miles long, starting in south-central Colorado, then through New Mexico, running along the Texas and Mexico border, and then into Texas, where it eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The phrase "Everything is bigger in Texas" was first used in 1913. Texas had been the biggest state until Alaska became part of the United States in 1959.
  • Several dishes got their start in Texas, some with influences from Mexico, immigrants from other countries, or neighboring states. These include Tex-Mex cuisine, chili con carne, chicken fried steak, corn dogs, and Texas-style barbecued beef brisket.
  • Pecan pie is the Texas state pie. Although historians are unsure whether pecan pie got its start in Texas or another southern state, we do know that archaeologists found evidence in Texas of indigenous people using pecans more than 8,000 years ago.

The Yolk's On You

What do you call people who like to drink hot chocolate all year long? 


THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a sheep covered in chocolate? 

A Candy Baa!

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call stolen cocoa? 

Hot chocolate!

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