Royal Icing Question And Help, Please

Baking By Ree Updated 25 May 2008 , 1:42pm by toleshed

Ree Posted 21 May 2008 , 10:04pm
post #1 of 20

I'm having problems with my icing not firming up. When it dries, it's powdery. I don't know where I'm going wrong with this, but have 100 XL baby carriages to do. Last night when I went to bed, I thought they were firming up nicely... but now they turn to powder when I pick them up. i spent all day redoing baby bottle cookies and I fear that I'm just getting deeper and deeper in the hole! My Royal icing recipe is as follows...
8 cups Confectioners' sugar
16 tsp. Meringue powder
2 tsp. cream of tarter
and enough water to make it like a heavy cream mixture.
I also add flavorings and tints.
I'd appreciate any help that you can give me.
Thanks!
Rita

19 replies
toleshed Posted 21 May 2008 , 10:33pm
post #2 of 20

Are your bowls or utensils coming into contact with grease of some sort? I don't know what the problem is but here is my recipe:

3 Tablespoons Wilton Meringue Powder
* 1 lb. (4 cups) confectioners' sugar (about 1lb.)
* 6 Tablespoons warm water*

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty
mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a
hand-held mixer). Recipe makes 3 cups.

NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.

* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.

**When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.

Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use
grease-free spoon or spatula to
stir slowly. Add ½ teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.

Ree Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:07am
post #3 of 20

No contact with grease. I wash all my utensils and such with Dawn degreaser and then i even add vinegar to make sure. Always have done it that way and have never had a problem before now. Do you suppose that maybe it could be too mjuch meringue powder? I guess there's nothing else to do but scrape it all off and start over. (Unless you know a quick fix.) I'm new at decorating cookies, so I'm not familiar with how hard it should get, how long it should take to dry before going to the next step. Could it be that I'm leaving the cookies out too long to dry?

toleshed Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:12am
post #4 of 20

I'm really not sure what to tell you. It shouldn't be cuz your leaving them out to dry. That should make them harder if anything. Are you talking about your detailed decorating with royal icing or is this your flooding icing? It just sounds like they aren't dry enough to me

Ree Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:33am
post #5 of 20

I iced them in light blue royal icing then was gonna do the detail work today. They are dry. Just powdery. It's funny cause a couple handles broke off and i just threw thm in a ziplock bag last night and they are not powdery. They are firm. (Same icing, too.) This is sooooo weird! For the baby bottles, I panicked and added pipping gel to the royal icing. So far they look nice... But I'm holding my breath! Is there something special I should be doing to have a firm enough icing to be able to write on the cookies with a food marker?

toleshed Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:36am
post #6 of 20

I only MMF. And I can write on that. I don't use the royal until I'm ready for detailing. Sorry. Hopefully someone else will come in and help.

Ree Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:55am
post #7 of 20

I typed back my thanks, but I guess I forgot to click send! It's been a LONGGGGGG day! But again... Thank you for trying to help me figure my mess out. Guess tomorrow, I'll scrape it all off and go at it again. Wish me luck!

toleshed Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:57am
post #8 of 20

Good Luck!! icon_smile.gif Let me know how you make out

Yomomma Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:45am
post #9 of 20

How sad! - i'd be crying after all that work! It seems like the cream of tartar amount is excessive - could it possibly be 1/2 teaspoon? I remember my instructor saying cream of tartar aids in drying.

My heart goes out to you. Hope your future attempts end better. Don't give up!

Honeydukes Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:56am
post #10 of 20

Sounds like way too much meringue powder. And when it is humid you add less, not more. Also, how long are you beating your RI? Over-beating will cause it to be crumbly. I wouldn't add any piping gel to it. I use the exact recipe toleshed posted and have never had a problem, except for the one time I over-beat it. Good luck and we're here for you.

I know this might be a little late, but have you ever tried Toba Garrett's Glace'? I just love it and have never had a problem. Maybe, next time.
http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-2119-Toba-Garretts-Glace-Icing.html

Ree Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:08am
post #11 of 20

I beat it way too long then, I guess. 10-12 minutes. I'll redo the carriage cookies with y'alls recipe tomorrow. Thanks for helping! I'm gonna learn to do this right yet!

Honeydukes Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:22pm
post #12 of 20

icon_redface.gif I re-read my post and I messed up. I was thinking one pound of powdered sugar, not two. I use three per pound. Sorry about that!

Ree Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:08pm
post #13 of 20

That's alright... I reread mine too and I realized that I said I mixed with piping jel when I meant to say that I mixed with color flow. Yesterday was such a long and aggravating day! So far... today is good!

toleshed Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:16pm
post #14 of 20

Ree
are you able to scrape everything off?

Ree Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:25pm
post #15 of 20

Yes... I scraped everything off late yesterday and redid them. Just finished marking the baby bottle with my food pen. They look great compared to yesterday! Now... to scrape of the small present cookies and redo them... then on to scraping off the XL Carriage cookies. But... lhard esson learned and now I'm a mile better off than I was yesterday!!!! I thank y'all so much for all the help!
Rita

toleshed Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:29pm
post #16 of 20

Glad to be of help. Anytime

wyckedwytch Posted 24 May 2008 , 7:35pm
post #17 of 20

It's defiantly the merinque powder! I had this problem too. When using merinque powder in large recipe's it's not just doubling it or quadrupling, you actually use less for the larger amounts....I think it's 3T for a pound but 4 1/2 -5T for 2 pounds. It's all about playing with it and also adjusting it to your humidity levels.
I had to scrape 50 hearts at valentine's that came out like chalk, it was gross! But at least it crumbled off easily enough.

Good luck in the future!

Ree Posted 24 May 2008 , 10:01pm
post #18 of 20

Well I think this is the most expensive and Hardest lesson I've learned! I scraped almost 300 cookies altogether! But thank goodness I didn't have to redo EVERYTHING! I finally got it all done and have now been itiated into the wonderful world of cookie decorating! I hate it happened to you, too...but I'm glad that it just wasn't me!

Ree Posted 24 May 2008 , 10:07pm
post #19 of 20

Well I think this is the most expensive and Hardest lesson I've learned! I scraped almost 300 cookies altogether! But thank goodness I didn't have to redo EVERYTHING! I finally got it all done and have now been itiated into the wonderful world of cookie decorating! I hate it happened to you, too...but I'm glad that it just wasn't me!

toleshed Posted 25 May 2008 , 1:42pm
post #20 of 20

Well thats good. I'm glad it has worked out for you.

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