aka kiddie crack.
I couldn’t say how many of these sugar shots I downed as a child… oblivious, of course, to the fact that their cheerful fruity flavors probably contained a laundry list of ingredients, not one of them fruit.
But, hey. Kids don’t care about that stuff.
As long as they have their sugar.
Indeed, pixie sticks were one of my favorites, along side Smarties and Reese’s (you know, a good, balanced diet).
So when a random tweet pointed to a recipe for a homemade pixie stick, my sugar sensors kicked into high gear.
A few weeks and a few more bucks later (hey, I HAD to buy the new coffee grinder. Couldn’t have my pixies tasting like espresso, now, could we? Although… now that you mention it…)
I had a handful of homemade pixie sticks.
In flavors that 12-year-old me could never have imagined.
Granted, it wasn’t easy, per say (stuffing sticky sugar into itty bitty little openings is harder than it looks), but there’s no denying that these are fun. I found some reasonably priced freeze-dried fruit at Trader Joe’s, and once I had my shiny new coffee grinder and pack of color-coordinated paper straws, I was ready to go.
My first batch was surprisingly lack-luster. Lacking that particular punch of brightness. It needed citric acid in a big way. So once I had that ordered, then I was really ready to go. The citric acid, just a bit of it, made all the difference.
While you may be able to source the ingredients you need locally, you can also order them online. I got my citric acid on Amazon. There’s also a fabulous assortment of freeze-dried fruit (not to be confused with just dried fruit, I’d imagine that would gum up your coffee grinder in a hurry) at Nuts.com. I mean, blackberry? Pear? Elderberry? Hello gourmet pixie sticks. Oh, and you’ll also need straws. Take your pick (and perhaps hide your credit card).
Homemade Pixie Sticks
Yield: about 2 dozen pixie sticks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup freeze-dried fruit
1 teaspoon citric acid
For Cocoa Raspberry:
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
For Strawberry Vanilla:
1/2 vanilla bean, seeded
In a (clean!) coffee grinder, combine sugar, dried fruit, and citric acid. Pulse until fruit is ground to a fine powder.
Crease and fold one end of a paper straw. Using a piece of paper rolled into a funnel, fill straw with sugar until almost full. It may help to use a toothpick to help the sugar flow through the funnel. Fold the top of the straw to seal.
Adapted from NPR.
(FYI, this post contains an affiliate link. I’m required by law to tell you. The spare change I’ll get if you order yourself some citric acid from Amazon might not seem like much, but it adds up. I promise I’ll only use it for good. Like chocolate. And sprinkles.)