If you're looking for a fun and easy candy making project, why not try making your own pixie sticks at home? With just a few simple ingredients and some basic kitchen tools, you can whip up a batch of these sweet and tangy treats in no time. Follow these five easy steps to make your own homemade pixie sticks and enjoy a fun and tasty treat!
Making Pixie Sticks Candy
Growing up, I had no idea what pixie sticks were. Or most store bought candy. When you don't get to enjoy foods like that, it can be tough when holidays and birthday parties are held. With a Dad who had food allergies, my Mom's philosophy was we all support him and that meant we didn't eat the type of stuff other kids grew up on.
Sometimes it really stinks to be that kid.
I've made it a personal mission to make sure all kids with allergies get to enjoy treats. This is one treat that your kids will NEVER know the difference or feel deprived.
Gather your ingredients and supplies
Before you begin making your homemade pixie sticks, you'll need to gather all of the necessary ingredients and supplies. You'll need ½ cup freeze dried fruit (we did strawberry, raspberry/blueberry and peach), ½ cup raw sugar (can use regular sugar too), 1 teaspoon powdered citric acid (you can totally omit this but it does provide the tanginess that traditional pixie sticks have. Look at your local health food store or baking store). For supplies you will need needle nose pliers, BPA free plastic straws, a lighter, a small funnel (we made a paper funnel) and a toothpick.
Make sure you have everything you need before you start, so you don't have to stop and search for something in the middle of the process.
Should I use plastic or paper straws?
Most of the pixie sticks recipes I've seen are made with paper straws.
We tried it and it worked okay but also became a bit of a mess, so the idea came to try BPA free plastic straws. It seemed to work much better for us!
Freeze dried fruit or flavored drink mix packets?
Freeze dried fruit would definetely be more of a healthier option. Freeze dried fruit extracts the water from fruit without removing nutrients. Most pixie stick recipes will use flavored drink mix packets but I wanted a healthier version and this one did not disappoint using the freeze dried fruit!
Mix and flavor your sugar
In a blender, combine the freeze dried fruit, sugar and citric acid until smooth and blended fine. You can use any flavor of fruit that you like, but some popular options include strawberry, mango and raspberry. Adjust the amount of sugar to your liking - if you prefer a sweeter candy, you can add more sugar. Don't forget the citric acid! That will provide the tartness to your pixie sticks!
Fill your straws with the sugar mixture
The first step is to seal the bottom of your plastic straw. To seal the bottom of the pixie sticks, use the needle nose pliers to make a seal with ⅛ of an inch of straw left open on the bottom. Take the lighter flame to the straw and heat until the ends are closed and sealed. Remove heat from the straw and hold for several seconds with the pliers to allow plastic to seal and cool. Remove pliers.
You can use regular plastic straws or paper straws, depending on your preference. Hold a straw upright and use a funnel or rolled-up piece of paper to pour the sugar mixture into the straw. Fill the straw about ¾ of the way full with the sugar mixture, leaving some space at the top for twisting or sealing. Repeat this process with all of your straws until you have used up all of the sugar mixture.
Seal the ends of the straws
Once you have filled all of your straws with the sugar mixture, it’s time to seal the ends. You can use a pair of pliers or your fingers to pinch the end of the straw closed. You can also use the method mentioned that uses the lighter. Make sure to press down firmly to create a tight seal. Repeat this process with all of your straws until they are all sealed. You can also use a small piece of tape or a twist tie to secure the end of the straw if you prefer. Once your straws are sealed, your homemade pixie sticks are ready to enjoy!
Note: Do not use the lighter method with paper straws!
Enjoy your homemade pixie sticks!
Now it's time to enjoy your homemade pixie sticks candy! They are so much fun to share with friends and family or keep them all to yourself – we won’t judge! Remember, you can customize the flavors and colors to your liking, so get creative and have fun with it. Some fun ideas for serving might be for party favors, school birthday treats, and more!
How long will pixie sticks store for?
The storage life of homemade pixie sticks with freeze dried fruit will depend on various factors such as the type of fruit used, the storage conditions, and the method used to prepare the pixie sticks. In general, properly stored homemade pixie sticks made with freeze-dried fruit can last for several weeks to a few months.
If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as a change in color, texture, or odor, or if the pixie sticks have been stored for an extended period, it's best to discard them to avoid the risk of foodborne illness.
What is citric acid used for?
You can totally omit the citric acid but it does provide the tanginess that traditional pixie sticks have. Look at your local health food store, baking store or food storage supply facility.
Photo Tutorial on Making the Pixie Stick Seal: