What is it about that sour sweet Pixie Stick taste? Kids seem to love it, along with pretty much any candy that is sour and sweet at the same time. The stranger the better. I remember loving Zots, a fizzing candy that when chewed turned your mouth into a foaming mess. My friend and I used to chew them up and stagger around the driveway pretending we had rabies, which I suppose is what qualified as fun in the 80s.
Want to make your own Pixie Sticks? It’s pretty easy and it’s a fun project to do with the kids. I had several trial and errors while attempting this. The first time I ground the powder too fine and it clumped together and wouldn’t fit into the straw easily. The second I got it right, but the flavor was off. But third time was the charm.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Paper straws: This was by far the hardest thing to find. You can sometimes find them at party supply stores, but Michael’s didn’t have them, nor did a couple fancy grocery stores I tried. You can try plastic straws but they don’t crimp as easily – you will likely need a bit of tape to get them to close. The paper ones crimp very easily and stay shut. I ended up ordering mine from Amazon.
Citric Acid: I happened to have this already as I use it to make Shower Fizzies. You can get it in smaller quantities in health food stores generally.
Sugar: The recipe I saw called for Dextrose and it’s possible that gives it a more Pixie stick like flavor. But I didn’t know where to get Dextrose and was impatient, so used sugar.
Freeze dried fruit: I used strawberries from Target’s Archer Farm’s brand but you can use blueberries as well. I would imagine lots of flavors would work. I’d like to try ground up candy canes next. The fruit mostly gives it color as opposed to any real flavor. The citric acid gives it the tang.
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon citric acid
- Coffee grinder or some kind of small food processor.
- Dried fruit. About 3 tablespoons.
Crimp one end of the straw with your fingernails. Use a paper funnel and scoop tablespoons of the mix into the funnel. It should flow out easily. You will want to hold the funnel slightly above the opening of the straw – it’s easier to figure out when the straw has filled (which happens very quickly.)
Make sure you have enough room at the top of the straw to crimp it, you may have to dump out a little. You will likely have quite a lot left over. I made a dozen and still had tons left. You can probably fill a whole box of straws. You can also cut the recipe in half, tasting as you go so you have the flavor you like – that way you won’t have so much leftover. I think these would be cute attached to holiday gifts or tucked inside a stocking.