wyckedwytch Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 4:23pm
post #1 of

I only use a form of royal icing that I mix with different ingredients than the normal recipe, which works fine but the colors are muted.

I love the vibrant colors that Toba's glaze makes but when I use it I get terrible spots that show up about 12-18 hrs after decorating them. I have tried everything that I can think of etc..white coloring so it's not transparent, etra mixing in case it's the sugar molecules, less coloring in case it's just too much color....and on and on... BUT I still get dots, I'm going to try to post a picture I did of a dolphin where it's really apparent but if it doesn't work my little purple witch has the same little dots, and this is in my photo's

Any help would be appreciated because I really love the taste and I don't think other people have this issue.
LL

28 replies
JoAnnB Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 4:59pm
post #2 of

The cookie looks great, even with the unfortunate spots. Have you tried making the glace and couple of days ahead to let it all melt together?

vteventrider Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 5:04pm
post #3 of

I am sorry about the spots and don't have any advice, but I wanted to post and tell you I love the dolphin! The colors are so vibrant! Do you find that you get the best vibrancy from using Toba's glaze?

wyckedwytch Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 5:26pm
post #4 of

Thanks for the quick responses and hopefully someone out there will know what causes it.

I do find Toba's glace (glaze) works the best for getting a true black, red or vibrant pinks,purple's and blues. But the spots turn me off from it because to me it looks spoiled or old.

I've tried letting it sit over night before using it and then I tried again at 36 hr's and 48 hr's old thinking it could be the sugar not fully broken down or air pockets, but nothing as of yet has worked.

Right now I use powdered sugar, water, corn syrup, merinque powder, vanilla extract and cream of tartar...kind of mixing all the recipe's together to get tasty and softer icing. I think the merinque takes away the color slightly but I'm using wilton's till it's gone and then I'm going to invest in americolor since I've heard good things about that. I have tried CK (country kitchen) super black, super red, and super brown but the taste was terrible, and I had to throw everything away.

I'm hoping I can get to the bottom of my spots because when I mix colors I do 20-25 colors at a time and it takes me 2- 3 1/2 hrs to get it all mixed up and then to throw them away is such a waste of time, money and patience icon_cry.gif

Thanks for the compliments though! I have tons of pictures now..I've tried to do one cookie of each cutter 300+ for my up and coming website but I haven't posted them here because of space and I don't want to bore anyone.

Happy Decorating,
Heather

maurerba Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 6:19pm
post #5 of

First of all I would LOVE to see the rest of your cookie! I have just started making cookies with RI and I love the look of them but the taste of the RI is not the greatest. I have been looking at the Glace recipe and plan on using it next time.

About your spots do you use tap water? You could try bottled water instead. How do you dry them? Do you let them sit out in the open or do you cover them once they form a crust. Hope you figure it out!

vteventrider Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 6:46pm
post #6 of

Can I please get the recipe you have come up with? Also, where did you get all the cutters and I too would love to see all your cookies so please let us know when your website is up.

yankeegal Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 7:32pm
post #7 of

I would ask Dawn-aka kneadacookie about all things regarding Toba's glace. She uses it all the time and is a master decorator-she would probably be able to help.

peanut123 Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 11:32am
post #8 of

Here is a list of things to consider when you have white spots:
+ Add bright white coloring (5-6 drops for every cup of powdered sugar)
+ Adequate mixing before adding corn syrup is essential (be aware of âdead zonesâ in the bowls of some stand mixers)
+ Accelerate drying of glaze by placing it under a 300W heat lamp.
+ Use minimum thickness of glaze on cookie to facilitate drying. Spread with small paint brush, if possible.
+ âAgedâ glaze starts to crystallize. Use glaze/icing that is less than 3 days old.
+ Some dark food colors (red, black, etc.) create this problemâ¦switch brands.


Wyckedwytch,
In my opinion, there are at least 4 things causing your âwhite spotsâ:
1. The rate of drying (too slow promotes visible crystal structures)
2. The thickness if the glaze (related to #1 above)

To a lesser extentâ¦
3. The recipe you are using (more ingredients are not always better)
4. Not enough of the âwhiteâ (The titanium dioxide in the white is an effective opacifier)


You mentioned using powdered sugar, water, corn syrup, meringue powder, vanilla extract and cream of tartar.

I get very good results using the standard recipe (adjusted to add the âwhiteâ)

Ingredientsâ¦
1 pound powdered sugar (sifted)
6 Tablespoons whole milk [you can also use water]
6 Tablespoons clear corn syrup
20 drops white food coloring
Flavor extracts, oils, colors as desired

Good Luck!

wyckedwytch Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 11:52am
post #9 of

Thank you peanut.
I really have tried all those steps so maybe it's the wilton color?

My glaze recipe is powdered sugar, milk and corn syrup...so easy which is why I wish it would not spot for me. The other recipe I posted was my RI recipe.
I have never put a light over my cookie to dry them for two reasons..I thought bright light could cause fading of color and the cost of my electrcity bill icon_eek.gif !

Now that its getting warmer where I live maybe it will speed up the drying, but they always were almost dry to the extremely carefull touch about 2-3 hrs in or at least enough for details. Hmmm

I'll try anything!

peanut123 Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 1:08pm

Do you get the âspotsâ on your plain white glaze? It is hard to tell from your picture. That might give you a clue on the effect of the Wilton color.

The cost of electricity to run a heat lamp is lower than you think. In the case of a 300W bulb, multiple 0.3 times the duration that the lamp is on times the cost of electricity in kilowatt-hours. (This does not include the cost to purchase the lamps and fixtures.)

Example: 0.3 kilowatts x 4 hours x 10 cents per kilowatt-hours == 12 cents

Regarding color fading concerns, the titanium dioxide in the âwhiteâ is an effective color shield for things exposed to ultraviolet light. There are heat lamps available that do not generate UV light. I have found that the heat from a heat lamp actually 'brightens' the color of the setting glaze.

Hope this helps.

kneadacookie Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 2:10pm

ok, so are you using the meringue powder and cream of tartar in your glace icing?? and if you are...why?

you also said that you are letting your icing sit after making it then using it? so, when you let it sit, do you stir it up before using it? where are you storing the icing before using?

and lastly, where are you storing your cookies while they are drying to set? are they in a refridgerator, a closet, covered, not covered, a warm room, a dry room???

GeminiRJ Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 3:39pm

I've only had trouble with the spotting when I don't add the brite white. It was especially bad if the cookies got cold. If refrigerated, the icing would get cloudy as well as spotted. But adding the brite white seems to keep that from happening, too. I also prefer to use skim milk, as I had some problems when I used water. I'll be interested to hear anything kneadacookie has to say on the icing, as she is a true artist and master with the stuff!

tonedna Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 3:46pm

lots of info!..save!

wyckedwytch Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 5:56pm

Boy things got all messed up. The meringue powder and water was a recipe that someone asked for RI I do not use it in my glaze.

My white does not have spots but I add no wilton color to it just super white coloring from a large white bottle.

I leave my cookie in a dry uncovered room that is sheltered from animals and humans where I and only I go (I'm very over protective of my work since it's labor intensive).

I always leave the icing for at least 16 hrs to set so the colors get richer (red and black because I do not add alot) and for any extra air bubles to release. White goes straight into pastry bags or into special food safe one time use plastic containers that I bought at a specialty store (Never has anything ever used in them). I've tried with glaze putting it into bags right away and then kneading each one for a timed 10 minutes the following day and I've also tried storing the colors in these special containers and then stiring them up before adding them to bags. I use disposable clear wilton bags that are one time only.

It's possible it's just not in the cards for me to use glaze but I figured maybe if I posted what I did without my other recipe things wouldn't get so confusing.

Thanks
Heather

kneadacookie Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 7:41pm

heather...don't give up yet. it sounds like you're doing everything right. does this happen everytime you make a different cookie? or is this the first time you've used it?
i have found recently, that 2 seperate things were causing my cookies to splotch.
1. the room i was keeping my cookies was dry, but it was also too cold.
2. when you let the icing sit, it starts to set up. so the icing you then put on your cookies, does not seem to be the exact consistency that you first made. if you've ever noticed that if it sits for a couple of days, the bowl or bottle get a hard layer on the bottom.
i really appreciate the nice compliments, but i am by far an expert! but, i guess if you play with the stuff enough, you pick up a few things here and there.
don't give up! make sure you add the white coloring to all your colors, keep the cookies in a warm dry room, and stir it up right before you fill in your cookies. try that and let us know if any of this helps!!

jenlg Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 8:04pm

I don't have any pictures of my cookies to show you but this is a royal icing recipe I use only for my cookies. Escpeically my Earth Day cookies. It may seem runny at first...but after I ice the cookies it "settles" out very nice and smooth. This will thicken but not harden like the regular royal icing we use for the flowers. I've never had any problems with spots and the colors take very well. This can easily be flavored too. Kids here like it as is.

2 egg whites
4 cups 10x sugar
food coloring

*Beat egg whites until stiff
*Add sugar and beat 1 minute

Too thick--add egg white
Too Thin--add sugar

wyckedwytch Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 8:39pm

Hmm... Maybe it is the temperature of my house. I keep it between 60-65 and I guess it's possible that could be to cold. It's now spring here in NH and it was 75 today so I will try the recipe again, including all the pointers everyone has given me and see what happens.

Kneadacookie, thanks for the encouragement not to give up. I love your cookies and I really admire your talent and I'm in awe of the vibrant colors without spots icon_biggrin.gif this was the (Sadly) fifth time I've tried it in the past 6 months! To get everything right, does it matter what kind of milk I use? I've been using usually skim milk that is generic brand but fresh and once I tried name brand Hood 2 % thinking maybe it's the fat content that's wrong. How long do you mix yours up, and what color company do you use, and do you bag it up and then knead it the next day or do you keep it in containers over night and then after stiring it up you add it to pastry bags?
I really do like the taste of it compared to the merinque taste but I'm so anal!

Jenlg, thanks for your recipe, I've tried egg whites before and their yummy but I was just licensed and inspected by the state so I can sell my cookies and I'm not allowed to use uncooked eggs. If you haven't posted that recipe in the recipe area you should because lots of people are always looking for a yummier RI!

Thank you everybody for your help, I'll post pictures the next time I make this recipe.

Happy Decorating,
Heather

kneadacookie Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 10:23pm

it still happens to me too. that's usually why i try to do several extra cookie to pick the best of the bunch(satisfies the cookie monsters in my house too)

this is a cookie i made and sent to melvira last week. you'll notice the splotches in the yellow. i actually sent these cookies because i didn't have time to redo

dawn
kneadacookie
LL

kneadacookie Posted 19 Apr 2008 , 10:23pm

i just noticed the white too

wyckedwytch Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 2:57pm

Yes, Yes, Yes!

That's it! I can't believe it does it to yours also! Your pctures on your web site are so perfect. I thought it just was happening to me.

It's like a Glaze disease icon_lol.gif

Dorctor we need a icing doctor here quick! Actually I love love Alton Brown's food scientist that he has to figure this out! Does someone have an in with him?

jnoel Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 3:08pm

I'm about as far from an expert as it gets, but I have used toba's glaze a few times and I've started heating the milk in the microwave to get it hot - I think it helps the sugar dissolve better. Usually by the time I'm finished mixing everything, the glaze is cool and I go ahead and use it right away. Not sure if this will help - I've heard a lot about the dreaded spots, but I've never gotten them.

wyckedwytch Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 3:16pm

Hmmm... warm milk, you might be on to something here. What is the temp of your house when you decorate? I've been talking to peanut who thinks it maybe my house is too cold so it is taking longer to dry.

I keep it in the winter between 60-65 usually 62-64 though(Oil prices are KILLING me!).

SophieBelle Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 3:18pm

I'm wondering if the white spots could be from flour on the surface of the cookie. The spots with a bit more flour on the surface might absorb the liquid in the icing and make those areas dry differently.

wyckedwytch Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 7:03pm

What flour on the baked cookie? Do you mean when your rolloing it? I only roll my cookies in parchment so I add no extra flour or sugar. I would think if it was from cooked fluor it would be all over the cookies.

Anythings possible though.

jnoel Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 9:34pm

I do keep my house pretty warm. I live in SC, so I have a much bigger problem trying to keep the kitchen cool in the summer The kitchen always seems to stay hotter that the rest of the house.

kneadacookie Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 10:52pm

i don't use any extra flour when rolling either. that sounded good though

i had a party planning expo in march. i baked off over 2000 samples and iced them. the people i share a kitchen with put my racks in a samll storeroom which is very cold. when i went to pick them up, almost half of them were discolored. i was pretty upset. thank goodness they were just tasters. had that been an order, i could have been scr**ed. i now store my iced cookies in the office at the kitchen.

SophieBelle Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 11:03pm

I don't use extra flour to roll either, and I don't have this problem with the spots. So I thought that might be it. Sorry.

SophieBelle Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 11:17pm

Is it possible that the cookies aren't completely cool when you start decorating?

wyckedwytch Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 1:08pm

Sophiebell,

I always leave my cookies out over night uncovered after baking them, I heard there is moisture in the cookies that needs to dry up before adding icing to it. My routinue is to make all the dough (usually 6-8 batches) and then refrigerate them over night. The next a.m. I get up and heat up my stove then I take one package at a time out of the fridge as I'm rolling and cutting a package (assembly line) then they stay stored on cooling racks overnight. That same night I make up my icing and let that sit overnight also. The next a.m I carefully stack the baked undecorated cookies in food safe plastic containers to sit and wait for their turn. I then bag up or start kneading my icing bags. Then I start decorating. It really is a labor of love! I never knew how much time really went into decorating till I tried to do a special favor for someone and ended up staying awake for alomst 36hrs to get them done.

I'm thrilled to say I have someone here whos daughter has taken the crystallization problem as a science project (I don't want to name name's till I find out if it's okay) and I'm crossing my finger's that she will have answers for us all soon. They have some great hypothesis' of what it could be.

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