How to Make Your Own Gummy Bears

Have you ever tried making the iconic gummy bear candy yourself? Gather your kids and treat everyone to something sweet!

The gummy bear has been a staple of America’s sweet tooth since its debut in 1922 and it is still going strong as everyone’s favorite candy. We love it so much that we even made an entire collection of products based around it. So we figured it was about time to try making the candy itself. What we found was that it is surprisingly easy to do it yourself! See for yourself how easy it is to make your own gummy bears at home.

Remember that making gummy bears requires a stove so make sure you are supervising the little ones during each step of the process.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
    You can replace the water with fruit juice of your choice for extra flavor
  • 1 package flavored gelatin
    Use any flavor that you prefer,
  • 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
    Gelatin is not a vegetarian ingredient. For alternative use, use agar powder.

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  • Bear-shaped silicone mold
    Bear-shaped molds can easily be found at your local crafts & hobby store or online. If you do not want to buy a new bear-shaped mold then any mold made from silicone will work. It’s important that the mold is made out of silicone as the flexible material will make it easier for you to pop them out when they’re done.
  • A measuring cup with a spout or a baster.
    Use one or the other to pour the mixture into the molds. We recommend the measuring cup as it is easier to clean than the baster.

Directions

  1. Pour the 1/2 cup of cold water into a pot. Do not heat the water yet.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin. Give it a brief stir.
  3. Add the packet of flavored gelatin.
  4. Mix well. Make sure there are no clumps of gelatin in the mixture.
  5. Have your molds ready nearby with your spouted measuring cup or baster handy.Note: The next steps involve using the stove so I suggest having your kid watch you do steps 6-9 unless they are old enough to use the stove with your supervision.
  6. Turn the stove on on low to medium heat. Keep mixing gently and slowly for about 10-15 minutes while the mixture heats up. Keep the heat low enough that the mixture doesn’t simmer. The gelatin will dissolve in the heat.
  7. Ensure that the gummy bear mixture is clear and free of all clumps.
  8. Take the pot off the heat.
  9. Portion out the mixture into the molds. Fill them up all the way, but do not let them overflow. Work quickly as you need to get the mixture into the molds before they get cool and solidify.
    If you have a measuring cup with a spout: Pour the mixture into the cup then use the spout to evenly distribute into the molds.
    If you have a baster: Dip the baster into the mixture and drop into the mold. Avoid bubbles.
  10. Put your molds in the freezer for 10 minutes then move to the refrigerator for another 15-20 minutes until they are set. Test one of the gummy bears to check that it is set. If they are still warm and squishy then put them in the refrigerator for 10 more minutes.
  11. Pop them out of their molds!
  12. Eat! The gummy bears are now ready for you to enjoy.

Refrigerate the gummy bears in an airtight container. These will keep for about a week, but we would be surprised if they last that long.  You can toss them in a little bit of powdered sugar or cornstarch to keep them from sticking to each other. Skip this step if you plan on going sour!

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Photo Cred: Jorge Romero

Love sour?

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Citric acid

The sour taste comes from citric acid. When you’re ready to pop the gummy bears out of their molds then take citric acid and mix it with granulated sugar. Press each gummy into the citric acid sugar mix for a slight zing to each candy. You will still need to refrigerate these gummy bears if you don’t plan on eating them all right away.

Try making them yourself! Take some pics and show us in the comments below if you’ve tried making the iconic candy yourself.


The 15 Coolest Halloween Babies

With Halloween just around the corner, everyone is in search of the wittiest costumes to impress. Here are the 15 coolest Halloween babies to spark your ideas.

Each year is a struggle to think of the most creative Halloween costume. It can be equally as difficult thinking of something for your baby before they’ve latched onto the idea of dressing up. Take the lead of these creative and resourceful parents to make some incredible and humorous Halloween costumes for your baby. Here’s hoping that these lil costume ideas will inspire you to have the best-dressed baby this Halloween.

1. Eleven from Stranger Things

Instagram Mom Laura made her mark on the internet by dressing up her daughter, Joey, in pop culture hits. Eleven from the hit Netflix show, Stranger Things, will be the popular costume this year.

2. Prince, Purple Rain era

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Laura and Joey aren’t the only ones drawing from pop culture references. This baby captured the essence of Prince’s 1984 cult classic look. With the musician’s passing earlier this year, Prince costumes will be a popular look to commemorate the artist.

3. Presidential Babies

Political costumes are sure to be everywhere this year with such a heated and entertaining Election Year. In fact, you can be…

4. The Secret Service

Priscilla Gragg, Parents Magazine
Priscilla Gragg, Parents Magazine

…Your Presidential baby’s own Secret Service. Check out the step-by-step guide Parents Magazine made for a witty DIY costume.

5. Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars

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Now’s the time for Star Wars costumes with the new additions to the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens and Rogue One. Redditor macaronbaker87 sewed this baby costume from scratch, including the plush lightsaber.

6. Where’s Waldo

The classic Where’s Waldo costume is a perennial favorite. Just try not to lose your kid in the crowd.

7. The Pest

Kevin, costume-works.com
Kevin, costume-works.com

The mousetrap doubles as a wagon to wheel your kid around from door to door, avoiding the need to carry your baby. Curious to find out how Kevin did it? Kevin explains how he built the giant mousetrap for his kid.

8. The Food Baby

Everyone bemoans their food baby after a giant meal. At least now you can show it off with your favorite meal.

9. The Biker Baby

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Got a toddler-sized Harley available? Set your baby up with some sleeve tattoos, a leather jacket, and a burly mustache to top it off.

10. The Old Lady Babies

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Flip the tables and turn your baby into a senior citizen. Even better if you can get a grandparent to take them out for Halloween.

11. Clark Kent from Superman

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Already did Superman? Just grab a white button-up shirt and a pair of black glasses to re-use last year’s costume as this year’s superpowered alter ego.

12. The Skydiver

Jeff, costume-works.com
Jeff, costume-works.com

The Skydiver is a clever way to let your kid enjoy the evening without getting exhausted if they’re still too young to walk the whole night.

13. Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street

Tyler, costume-works.com
Tyler, costume-works.com

Oscar the Grouch and the Garbage Woman is another great take on the parent-baby costume. Tyler, the creator of this clever costume, explains his process for making the costume.

14. The LED Light Suit

What better costume for your toddler than a suit that lights up? Youtuber Justin Mertz created the Glowy Zoey for his then 2-year old daughter’s first walking Halloween. It became such a viral hit that Mertz started a business based on his daughter’s costume.

15. Ripley and the Power Loader from Aliens

Youtube Dad Carston Riewe took DIY to another level with his father-daughter Ripley in the Power Loader costume from Aliens. At least 80 hours of work went into creating this behemoth of a costume

Honorable Mention

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A small shout-out to our own FCTRY star, Jackson! Perhaps it’s cheating with Jackson being the son of FCTRY’s own Jason and Alyssa, but hey, who can say no to a face like that?

Can you beat any of the witty costumes above?
Share what you or your kids are doing this year for Halloween!


Bernie’s Birthday Ice Cream Party!

75 years ago today, Bernard “Bernie” Sanders was born in Brooklyn, NY. In celebration of his birthday, we’ve picked 5 winners to receive a year of Ben & Jerry’s.

On July 25th, we launched the #MyBernie Instagram Contest after shipping out over 25,000 Bernie Sanders Action Figures. To be honest, we expected a year of ice cream to be a popular prize, but we never expected to receive so many amazing submissions. People took their Bernie Action Figure everywhere, from the DNC to their summer vacations. Alas, we could only choose 5 people to win from over 1,700 entries featuring the Bernie Action Figure on Instagram.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from #MyBernie.

Bernie proved to be a great ambassador.

Bernie’s adventures around the world had him building relations of all kinds. He campaigned with the Democatic Party, brought together citizens of every background, and negotiated for peace between antagonistic parties.

Bernie advocated for the environment.

Besides Bernie’s 75th this year, the National Parks Services had their 100th birthday over the summer. Bernie took a tour across the country to highlight the beauty of America’s landscapes and the need for environmental conservation.

A special congratulations to BrianneBikes for becoming a Junior Ranger of the NPS!

Wherever you went, Bernie went.

Whether it was to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention or the beach for vacation (the office for some…), Bernie was a loyal companion for every adventure. He even went all the way to Japan for some foreign diplomacy.

Bernie took some time to himself.

After a long and exhausting campaign, Bernie made sure to take some time for himself. He enjoyed some great Vermont cheeses, had a party, and made use of prime grilling season.

Bernie got cinematic.

As a dynamic figure, Bernie was always on the move. Some fans took to video to capture his action-packed days.

The Runner-ups!

As you can guess, it was tough picking out only 5 winners to receive a year supply of Ben and Jerry’s. There were so many delightful #MyBernie moments that voting on only five was as challenging as getting Congress to agree on something. So we decided to share the wealth with our runner-ups. Each of our runner-ups will get a free pint of Ben and Jerry’s! Woohoo!

The Winners

The winners of #MyBernie elicited the strongest reaction from the FCTRY team. Whether it was laughter or admiration for the artistry, these submissions were marked as the most memorable ones. Each of these entrants will get a year of ice cream from us. Say hello to some Chubby Hubby!

leslieinorem

chrisspurgin

cvneutron

bernandjerrys

terristcloud

We’ll be contacting the winners and honorable mentions for details shortly so please keep an eye out for a message from us via Instagram.

The Adventure Continues…

Perhaps the greatest thing to come from the #MyBernie Contest was watching the community of fans share their personal escapades via the Bernie Action Figure, both with us and with each other. We’re grateful to have so many wonderful moments shared with us on Instagram. Though the contest may be over, we hope that the #MyBernie adventures continue.

P.S. Make sure you’ve downloaded your Bernie’s Besties Paper Dolls. Find them here.


The Trump Action Figure

The Donald Trump Action Figure preorder starts today! But whether he’s actually produced is all up to you.

It’s Happening! …Well, kind of.

The Donald Trump Action Figure preorder has started! But the fate of the Trump Action Figure is completely in your hands.

How is it all up to you? Well, we’re following a Kickstarter-esque model. We need to reach our $15,000 goal by Election Day, November 8th, or the Trump Action Figure will be cancelled. That’s about 750 Trump Action Figures that need to be preordered before we give it the full greenlight for production.

What happens if we don’t reach the goal? Everyone gets a full refund and we pretend that this never happened.

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Our Un-Trumpiest Cause

We’ve picked our Un-Trumpiest cause to donate to after going through all of the suggestions sent in from survey voters. 5% of all profits from Trump Action Figure sales will be donated to our cause of choice: Border Angels. They’re a human rights organization that is helping to save lives along the US-Mexican border. Their founder and executive director, Enrique Morones, has quite an opinion on Trump.

Make It Happen

Preorder yours now and get the full rundown of the project.

Blog-Trump-Package


12 Best Cafes, Bars, and Restaurants Near the Javits Center

Here for NYNOW? Avoid overpriced, mediocre convention center food with the 2016 FCTRY Guide to Places to Eat and Drink Near the Javits Center.

As you may already know, the food options at the Javits Center are expensive and lackluster, and the surrounding area is known to be a desert when it comes to food. Or at least it used to be. Lately, the area has actually changed quite a bit and there are some pretty great food options popping up.

As New Yorkers (okay, Brooklynites) and long-time Javits exhibitors, we took it upon ourselves to compile a list of our favorite newish places to eat and drink near the Javits Center so that you can make the most of your time in our fair city. From quick breakfasts to classy dinners for the hangry hungry buyer, we’ve got you covered during NYNOW. (We even included a map!)

Coffee that ISN’T Starbucks!

1. Think Coffee – 10 minute walk –  $
Think coffee is a well-known and beloved NYC coffee chain and, lucky for us, they opened one about two blocks north of the Javits Center. Just not, it’s a bit tricky to find as you have to leave 11th avenue and go into thecourtyard of the residential tower on 41st street to find it. Besides the great coffee, there is an equally extensive food menu, ranging from salads to bagels to sandwiches and wraps!

Melissa’s choice: Dough Doughnuts

2. Blue Bottle Coffee – 13 minute walk – $$
Located in the ultra hipster and swanky Gotham West Market, Blue Bottle Coffee has become a New York staple for caffeinated tastiness and quality baked goods. This pit stop offers a fun and wild ambiance with the artistic fixtures of West Gotham Market. Stop in before, during, or after the show for a quick coffee fix!

3. The Cafe Grind – 9 minute walk – $
At The Cafe Grind you’ll be greeted with scrumptious baked goods, delightful soups and salads, and, of course, the pièces de résistance: every kind of La Colombe Coffee, variety of tea, and juice assortment one could ask for.

Highlights: Gluten-free & healthy options

Lunch Spots with Shorter Lines and (Much) Better Food

1. Friedman’s – 8 minute walk – $$ 
Friedman’s whips up home-style cooking and serves it with a friendly flair. They serve everything from breakfast favorites like pancakes topped with seasonal fruits to All-American dinner classics like steaks and burgers.

Reid’s Choice: The Lamb Burger

2. Sunac Natural Market – 10 minute walk – $
This full service grocery store offers a wonderful array of healthy and affordable options for breakfast and lunch. Sunac Natural Market also features an impressive juice and smoothie menu for any morning or afternoon pick-me-up.

Highlight: Open 24/7

3. The Gotham West Market – 13 minute walk – $$
This landing pad is one of FCTRY’s all time favorites. It’s the ultimate artisanal food court with an artistic, urban ambiance. It’s home to a number of New York cult food hits, serving up anything from ramen to Mexican.

Tyler’s Choice: El Colmado for the tapas
Erica’s Choice: Ample Hills Creamery for Snap Mallow Pop Ice Cream
Janie’s Choice: Uma Temakeria for the Sushi Burrito

4. Rustic Table – 13 minute walk – $$
A cozy spot that serves the classic coffee, tea, and sandwiches that we all love. Serving up breakfast quiches to smoked salmon sandwiches, Rustic Table has a tasty treat for everyone while enveloped within a cozy, rustic vibe.

Highlights: Farm-fresh food

Happy Hour? Drink Please!

1. The Press Lounge – 16 minute walk – $$
On top of the roof of the Ink48 Hotel, The Press Lounge has stunning and unmatched views of the city while overlooking the Hudson. This bar and lounge offers a menu ranging from unique cocktails to vino classics, alongside a modest sampling of bar foods. The Press Lounge does require an “elegant casual” dress code, meaning leave those Yankees baseball caps and LuLuLemon workout apparel behind, and dress to impress.

Highlight: Rooftop lounge with views

2. 44 & X – 16 minute walk – $
In the heart of Hell’s Kitchen is a fun and cozy restaurant and lounge, 44 & X. Here you can settle in for a nice breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or stay out with the night owls and taste some of their amazing Tony Awards-themed drinks. Some fun cocktail shout outs go to “Hamil Gin” and A “Wicked” Ozmopolitan.

Highlight: Cocktails like the Prince Ali Avodka

3. The FCTRY Booth – NYNOW Booth 7838 – FREE!!
If you’re at Javits Center and in need of a little late day pick-me-up then come over to the FCTRY booth after 5PM. We’ll be serving up some strong but tasty margaritas right there in our booth. It’s a little tradition of ours.

Highlights – Handmade drinks served to you by Tyler in adorable Gummygoods bubbles bottles.

Dinner. Is. Served.

1. PRINT – 16 minute walk – $$$ 
Top FCTRY Recommendation! This trendy restaurant specializes in fine American dining, with dishes ranging from Wagyu Beef Carpaccio to more traditional fare such as Roasted Chicken and Ribeye Steak. Print is located at the Ink48 Hotel alongside the aforementioned drink pick, The Press Lounge, so head down once happy hour is over.

Alyssa’s Choice: Goat Cheese Gnocchi & Short Ribs
Jason’s Pick: Fettuccine

2. Bea – 18 minute walk – $$
Escape the chaos of the city by stepping into Bea. Bea offers a warm, intimate ambiance, making you feel like you’re in another time. Bea features a creative drink menu with some exciting twists on classic American cuisine.

Erica’s Choice: Ricotta and Honey Toast

 Downtown, for the Adventurous

We tried to focus on places you can walk to from the Javits Center but if we’re being honest, the only time we ever hang out up there is during trade shows. If you’re looking for something more authentically New York, you should probably head downtown.

1. Black Tap NYC – 22 minute subway ride  – $$
This ultimate burger joint and milkshake heaven is a must-go-to foodies paradise. Careful, though, the lines can be exceedingly LONG, so I recommend that you get there pretty early or be prepared to wait a while.

Janie’s Choice: The Cookie and the Texan Burger

2. Jack’s Wife Freda – 28 minute subway ride – $$
A simple and sweet spot for dinner in the West Village. Jack’s Wife Freda fuses American fare with touches of Mediterranean flavors. Dishes range from the classic hamburger to Spiced Rack of Lamb. If you’re looking for a nice, low key spot for dinner and drinks, Jack’s Wife Freda will absolutely fill that order.

Erica’s Choice: Chipotle Chocolate Cake

3. The Bao – 30-35 minute subway ride – $
Critically acclaimed for having one of the best Shanghai soup dumpling in the city, The Bao is guaranteed to fill you up without breaking the bank. The food is served family style, so bring some friends and feast upon amazing soup dumplings!

Janie’s Choice: The Soup Dumplings and the Beef Scallion Pancakes

4. Flex Mussels – 20 minute subway ride – $$
Flex has an extensive list of original seafood entrees and platters, but if you’re at Flex, you’ve gotta go for the mussels. Obviously.

Janie’s Choice: Thai mussels and the Parma mussels, and any of the dessert donuts

What did we miss?

We know we’re not the only ones who’ve spent too much time around the Javits Center. What are your favorite spots? Use the comments below to let us know!

If you’re attending NYNOW Summer 2016, stop by and say hello! We’ll be at Booth #7838 and Booth #7088 


Bernie’s Besties

Beautiful Paper Dolls for Hardcore Liberals, featuring Killer Mike, Liz Warren, Mark Ruffalo and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

And, like all the best things in life, they’re free.


Back at the end of February, we launched the Bernie Sanders Action Figure Kickstarter campaign with modest expectations. Our goal was to reach $15,000 to fund the production of an action figure based on the sculpture by artist Mike Leavitt. The response to the Kickstarter campaign was overwhelming as we smashed through our original goal in the first day.

mikeThe enthusiasm and support for the Kickstarter campaign was so great that we had to throw in a few treats for all the love. We promised a series of stretch goal rewards for every major milestone in our campaign’s funding. 20 volunteer hours for Bernie’s campaign, planter signs, Red Hot Bernies, and Bernie lapel pins were among the rewards that were proposed. All, but the final goal of 20 more volunteer hours were attained with the Kickstarter campaign’s final amount raised: $248,063

The Bernie’s Besties Paper Dolls are here to celebrate surpassing our $190K stretch goal. We picked a handful of iconic faces associated with Bernie’s campaign and political philosophy. Save the environment with Mark Ruffalo or tear down Wall Street with Elizabeth Warren. Rally a grassroots movement with Killer Mike or strike down regressive laws with the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Bored with just paper? Here’s some ideas to get your Bernie’s Besties adventures started.

Sticker paper
Add to your ’90s sticker collection by printing them out on sticker paper.

Magnet sheets
Feeling more nomadic? Magnet sheets are available at your local office supply or arts and craft store for a less permanent option than sticker paper.

Mod Podge
Mod Podge is a godsend to DIYers everywhere. Its a clear sealant that’ll allow you to adorn any frame, mug, or chest with your favorite Bernie’s Bestie. Just print with regular paper and slather on that Mod Podge. 

Fabric Paper
You can take the doll in paper doll a step further by printing out on fabric paper. Cut it out with a matching backing piece, stuff it then sew it up for a more huggable version.

 

Let us know how you’ll be playing with your Paper Dolls by tagging us @fctry!