Pixie Sticks (Pixie Stix)

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I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodes...

Intro: Pixie Sticks (Pixie Stix)

These dead-simple homemade treats are the best pixie sticks you'll ever eat! They're made with real fruit instead of artificial flavors and colors, but still have the exact sweet-tart flavor you love in pixie sticks. And the recipe for homemade pixie sticks couldn't be simpler.

This is a great hands-on activity for kids old enough to operate a funnel, as you'll probably want help filling all those straws. Keep them occupied and entertained making their own portable summer treats!

Step 1: Tools & Ingredients

Ingredients: (scale as you see fit)
60g dextrose1 (I got mine cheaply from Amazon)
3g citric acid (I got mine at the local yuppie grocery, but it's also cheap and easily available online)
10g freeze-dried fruits of your choice (I picked strawberries & blueberries up at Trader Joe's, and cherries at Whole Foods)

Tools:
scale (especially if you're doing small quantities)
spice grinder (clean coffee grinder or mini food processor)
straws (brightly-colored paper straws look awesome, and hold about 1g powder)
paper funnel & poking stick


1I used dextrose because this is the same sugar used in commercial pixie stix, but you can also substitute table sugar (sucrose).  However, since table sugar is generally estimated to be 1.5-2x as sweet as dextrose, you'll have to use 30-40g of table sugar in place of the dextrose in the recipe above, and it may never taste quite "right".  I'll run the test myself soon, and update the Instructable with suitable quantities, but in the meantime taste and modify as needed.

Step 2: Grind Fruit


Weigh out your freeze-dried fruit, then grind it in your spice grinder. (Or grind a bunch, then weigh out 5g.) If you're going low-tech, a mortar and pestle would work too.

If you want to be super-careful, use a sifter to remove any remaining chunks when you're done.  I didn't bother, and thought everything tasted great. 

Step 3: Add Sugar and Citric Acid


Weigh out the dextrose and citric acid, and add them to your powdered fruit.  It's fine to mix them directly in your food processor or grinder with the fruit, as this will ensure an even distribution.  Otherwise mix thoroughly with a fork or whisk.

Step 4: Fill Straws


Grab your straws (paper is best, but plastic works), and make a thin paper funnel.  Clip the end of the funnel so just fits inside the straw.  A piece of thin wire can also be useful.  Now you're ready to fill the straws.

- Crimp one end of your straw (if using paper) or staple or otherwise clip the end of a plastic straw.
- Stablize the crimped end in a cup or other tube; I used the center of my mini food processor.
- Scoop pixie dust into the funnel, and work it through with your wire.
- Fill to last 1/3", and crimp the other end of the straw.

Tips:
- Match each flavor to a color-coded straw.
- My straws held 1g pixie dust, so you may need LOTS of straws!  Plan accordingly.

Step 5: Share or Store


That's it!  You've got a fistful of fabulous homemade pixie sticks, minus the artificial colors and flavors.

Store in an air-tight container to prevent moisture from mucking with your nicely freeze-dried fruits.  These pixie sticks will store indefinitely in a dry climate, but if it rains a lot where you live and you'll need to store them for any length of time longer than a couple of days, it's best consider putting a desiccant pack in the container to suck up any extra humidity. 

Of course, these are the most delicious pixie sticks (or pixie stix) you'll ever eat - offer some to friends, and I guarantee you won't have leftovers.

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    56 Discussions

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    leeski

    7 years ago on Introduction

    talk about reliving life through your children. Thanks to Canida my kids got the chance to try Pixie Sticks for the first time. Here's how it went downDad, why am I sucking on a straw..wait, hold that thought...this is good....can I have another....

    pixie sticks.jpg
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    canidaleeski

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Uh-oh, I've helped you give your kids fruity sugary crack! Sorry. ;)

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    ErinK28

    2 years ago

    Can these be frozen?

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    truliwicked

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Pixy Stix and Fun Dip!!! My all time favorites...even at 44. Thanks for sharing :-)

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    Mauigerbil

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Why am I the only one that realises it is technically PIXY STIX?

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    blinkyblinky

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm not a big fan of candy but my sister is...she loves these!

    Just wanted to say hi after the Maker Faire...I did eventually see Randofo (when he was leaving though!) but thanks for the Sugru!

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    YoshiB

    7 years ago on Step 4

    another question sorry,
    What do you mean by crimping the end and how do you do it/ what do you do it with?
    thank-you once again in advance.Great instructable by the way!
    toodle-pip

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    canidaYoshiB

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    To crimp = to pinch the end together and fold it over so the powder doesn't fall out. Check out the initial picture to see what that looks like.

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    YoshiB

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Riddle me this!
    it looks like you have powdered dextrose and liquid citric acid.
    i found that glucose is the same as dextrose and so i have powdered citric acid and glucose syrup/. Will this work?
    thank - you in advance!
    toodle pip

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    canidaYoshiB

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You need to use powdered versions of all of these - if you use a syrup, it will be syrupy, not powdery. Look online for powder if you're having trouble.

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    jmccoy2

    6 years ago on Step 4

    You have to fold the bottom. Fold it under. Do it with your fingers,but if you are worried it would come undone,I guess you could tape it done.

    Ingeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenious! :0) We had something in Canada called Lickamade. It came in a pouch and wasn't as much fun to look at as yours.

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    codongolev

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I made carbonated pixie sticks using kool-aid, sugar, citric acid and baking soda. it was a hit at school. (I tried to make them caffeinated using crushed caffeine pills, but it just tasted nasty.)

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    codongolevcanida

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    if I get my hands on some citric acid again I will. however, I got it at the ashery (grocery place) in amish country, and it's not really a place I tend to frequent (it's about an hour away and the ashery is the only really interesting thing there; the rest is just amish stores and restaurants). I might buy some online if I get the gumption to do it, but unfortunately I doubt I ever will.

    I wa thinking of ways to carbonate these earlier, how much baking soda did you use? I'm afraid to try it and accidentally use too much and be left with a bad taste.