Introduction: Bacon Pixie Stix (Pixie Sticks)

About: I helped start Instructables, previously worked in biotech and academic research labs, and have a degree in biology from MIT. Currently head of Product helping young startups at Alchemist Accelerator, previous…

Bacon Pixie Stix are the perfect combination of insanely awesome, and totally wrong.  They are, as advertised, pixie sticks - with bacon.  Make these award-winning treats for your next social occasion, and surprise your friends with a sweet, tart, bacon-flavored boot to the head.

And you don't just have to eat them in pixie stick form - sprinkle this amazing powder on top of fruit, salads, chocolate, ice cream, or anything else in need of a sweet bacon-citric-acid kick.

Award-winning?  Yes indeedy!  
These bacon pixie stix took 4th prize in the 2012 SF Bacon Takedown!  It was super-fun blowing people's minds with inappropriate uses of bacon, though people actually liked the bacon pixie stix, and came back for more - you can see judge Josh's review here.  

Also check out the other Takedown entries from Team Instructables, my Bacon Jello and Scoochmaroo's fantastic Bourbon Bacon Caramels1, and my Bacon Fruit Cups made for a previous Bacon Camp.

1 D'oh, Sarah didn't document the recipe!  If you want it, ask her to make them again and take some pictures.

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

150g well-fried thin-sliced bacon (just cook the whole pound and make BLTs with the extra)
310g dextrose powder (about 2 cups)
40g cornstarch (about 5 teaspoons)
25g tapioca maltodextrin
7.5g citric acid

food processor
frying pan and splatter screen
plate covered in paper towels
kitchen scale
paper or plastic straws (optional but totally good for the proper pixie stick look - plastic avoids grease issues)
funnel and poking stick for filling straws (also optional - I made my own from a piece of plastic and a wooden skewer)

Step 2: Fry Bacon

Fry up your bacon until it's quite crisp and dry, though not burned.  Be sure you're using thinly-sliced bacon - this is important, as you want to make sure to drive all the water off, and that won't happen with thick-cut bacon.

When done, remove from the pan (or oven, or microwave) and drain on paper towels.  Pat dry to remove any excess fat.

Step 3: Dextrose Powdered Sugar

First, you'll need to make your own dextrose-based powdered sugar.  Normal powdered sugar is super finely ground sucrose mixed with cornstarch.  Dextrose is slightly less sweet, and provides a specific type of sweetness that's absolutely necessary for a pixie stick.  It's easy enough to make your own.

Make sure your blender (or food processor) is clean and absolutely dry - you're working with powders, and don't want to get them soggy and stuck.

Combine 310 grams dextrose powder (roughly 2 cups) with 40 grams of cornstarch (roughly 5 teaspoons), and blend on high for a couple of minutes.  This will mix the two ingredients thoroughly, and give the dextrose an even finer grind if needed.

Remove from the blender, and reserve.

Step 4: Combine Ingredients

This time we'll be using a food processor, as most blenders aren't going to do a clean job with bacon powder.  (YMMV - I hear VitaMix blenders blend most anything.)

Dump the 150 grams of bacon into your food processor, and add about half the dextrose powdered sugar.

Pulse until all the powder is incorporated, then add the 7.5 grams of citric acid and the rest of the powdered sugar, and pulse some more until the mix looks like the slightly clumpy greasy sand.

Sprinkle in 25 grams of tapioca maltodextrin, and pulse a bit more.  The tapioca maltodextrin will soak up any remaining grease, which is absolutely necessary both for proper mouth-feel and to allow you to pack the powder into straws.  It should look like picture #3 below.

Check your bacon pixie stick powder.
Texture: is it a fine, greaseless powder with few if any clumps? (Add more tapioca maltodextrin to absorb excess grease)
Taste: does it taste like a pixie stick with bacon in it? (add more dextrose for sweetness, citric acid for tartness)

If so, you're good to go.  If not, adjust seasonings as needed, then proceed.

Step 5: Pack Straws & Serve

Use a plastic funnel (mine is made from a piece of semi-stiff sheet protector; don't use paper as it will absorb grease) and a skewer or chopstick to fill your straws.  These are paper straws, which proved to be a strategic error as they too soaked up a bit of grease, preventing the pixie stick from flowing easily out of the straw.  I'd recommend using slightly larger-gauge plastic straws.  McDonalds makes nice big straws, and you could go even further and use the big straws intended for drinking bubble tea.  

Crimp one end (folding works fine for paper straws; add a small staple to hold plastic straws) and fill your straw with magical bacon pixie dust.  Crimp the other end (again, staples for the plastic straws) and get started on another one.  This is a rather slow process.

Serve as soon as possible, especially if you're using paper straws!  Bacon pixie stick powder is amazing, but don't store longer than about a week, as its high surface area makes it prone to oxidation.  You can probably put it in the freezer for longer-term storage, though I haven't run those tests myself.

This powder is tasty on its own, and can also be an amazing addition to ice cream, fruit salads, or anything else you feel like sprinkling it on top of.

If you try this, please let me know.  It's a great treat for the bacon-lover in your life, or an April Fools Day prank for your office mates.  The possibilities are endless.