Can Anyone Make This Cookie With Confidence?

Baking By bakinccc Updated 8 Sep 2008 , 6:55pm by dailey

bakinccc Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 7:38pm
post #1 of 27

I'm wondering if anyone could do these cookies with the black and white colors with complete confidence that the colors wouldn't bleed? I flooded them mid morning and around 9pm I added the lettering. The base looked completely dry before I did the lettering but when I checked them the next morning I was so bummed to see that the colors had bled. If you can't see it in this picture (I had to resize it) go to my flickr site and it'll be right there. Click on it and then click on 'all sizes' and select the largest size. You'll see the amount of bleeding then.

Sometimes I've noticed that when I do my finer lettering with a tip 2 the frosting will bleed (because it's such a fine line???) but when I use a bigger tip it won't. But for something like this I need to use a thinner tip to get the look I want.

I use a royal icing recipe with powdered sugar, meringue powder and water. Antonia's recipe has cream of tartar in it I think. Do you think it's my recipe? I know it's not humidity because I keep the temp lower when I'm doing cookies.

IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN CONFIDENTLY DO REALLY CONTRASTING COLORS WITHOUT THIS HEADACHE? icon_cry.gif It doesn't happen very often...only enough to frustrate the *&*% out of me!!! tapedshut.gif (Sorry for my french!!)

Thanks to anyone who knows the answer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

26 replies
MissChrissy Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 8:20pm
post #2 of 27

Sorry i don't have any advice BUT I love your cookies!! What recipe do you use? Also is it all royal icing?? How do you get them soooo shiny???

JanetPlanet Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 8:44pm
post #3 of 27

You could try sending a PM to Peeverly ~ she mentioned adding whitener to Toba's glace so it wouldn't be so transparent. Maybe it would work for royal too. Please let us know!

Jessicafulbright Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 8:47pm
post #4 of 27

I think they are wonderful!! If you don't mind me asking what kind of cutter did you use?

-K8memphis Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 8:48pm
post #5 of 27

I don't know probably could but I avoid things like this that I know have built in problems that I cannot easily control.

If someone really insisted on black I would use marzipan to cover the cookies. Then pipe the monogram prolly with royal. I haven't tested this exactly but marzipan holds color like crazy. This is what I would try. I would also advise that they run the risk of the color bleeding and that it will not be even.

I do not try to move mountains for anyone.

But ultimately this is what I do--I advise people that thier guests' teeth will likely reflect the black icing. I advise them that chocolate is food and can make a similar statement without the added ghastly effect to your guest's teeth.

Some black thoughts for you--that didn't come out right did it?? icon_biggrin.gif

Lony Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 8:50pm
post #6 of 27

I would cover the cookie base in fondant and then pipe on the royal icing. That way you don't have to worry about the base colors bleeding.

Jocmom Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 8:54pm
post #7 of 27
Originally Posted by k8memphis

. . . But ultimately this is what I do--I advise people that thier guests' teeth will likely reflect the black icing. I advise them that chocolate is food and can make a similar statement without the added ghastly effect to your guest's teeth.

Some black thoughts for you--that didn't come out right did it?? icon_biggrin.gif

I had someone request a black golf bag cake and I told them the same thing . . . no problem as long as you don't mind walking around with black teeth and lips all day.

bakinccc Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:44pm
post #8 of 27

So it sounds like you simply cannot guarantee this with royal icing, huh? I've never used fondant, gumpaste or marzipan...I've never done anything except royal. How about those cookies at the grocery store that are yucky with rock hard icing that they sell for $4 each. How do they hold their colors forever?

Also, I'm hoping Antonia74 will see this message and respond, but what do you think cream of tartar does in a royal icing recipe? Does that make the colors more stable?

bakinccc Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:52pm
post #9 of 27

Also -

MissChrissy - I use my own recipe for the's very similar to the NFSC on here and the cookies are all royal icing.

Janet - I'm going to try using the whitener. Maybe that will help the problem.

Jessica - The cutter is a ruffled square from a set of them that I bought at Sur La Table. I use it a lot.

Thanks again for everyone's input so far. icon_smile.gif

msauer Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:54pm
post #10 of 27

Why don't you try sending a PM to Antonia74? I am sure she would be willing to help. Another CC'er who's work I love is kneadacookie. You should try her too...maybe she could give you some insight on how she does all of her amazing work.

bakinccc Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 10:59pm
post #11 of 27

I think I'll pm Antonia74 too. It's just that there's so many wonderful cookies that I see on here with black and white details that I thought I'd ask everyone first. I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif must have the answer!!!!

SugaredUp Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 11:10pm
post #12 of 27

I think you need to let your first color (the white) dry longer than 5 or 6 hours. You need to let it dry for like 10-12 hrs then add your second color. Also, make sure you are not pressing down too hard when you're writing w/ the black. If you break the "seal" on the white that is already there, you are going to make it bleed.

Good luck!

keyshia Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 11:11pm
post #13 of 27

not that I'm an expert...(that's always my disclaimer...haha) but when I made some soccer ball cookies I noticed that some bled, some didnt'. I think what happened (and mahybe what's happening iwth you?) is that I broke the barrier when I piped? That's the only reason I could figure out that some of mine bled but not others...I think I had (out of 32) perhaps 3 that your tip puncturing the color below?

SugaredUp Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 11:11pm
post #14 of 27

I just realized you said you did it mid-morning, so you might've already waited 10 hours by then... Antonia74 I believe recommends 12 hours or longer for black on white. But she'll PM you, I'm sure. Just let us know!! icon_smile.gif

born2bake Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 11:18pm
post #15 of 27

I'm wondering if more drying time between doing the base and doing the lettering would work. Meaning do all the base work one day, let it dry over 3-4 days to where it wood harden like you are going to ship them and don't want the icing to dent or break and then do the opposite color on top of the base and then let the lettering dry. If the bottom is solid, hard and dry, I'm thinking another color couldn't (??) bleed in to the frosting. Just my thoughts, but I'd be interested in hearing a resolution for future reference.

Good luck!

bakinccc Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 11:22pm
post #16 of 27

sugaredup and keyshia - I'm sure I didn't break the crust on the cookie when I piped the letters so that can't be it either. Oh, so frustrating!!!!!!

I did let the cookies dry for probably 10 hours. Maybe just a few more hours would've made a difference??

-K8memphis Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 12:11am
post #17 of 27

Colors mixed with milk in the icing hold better especially reds, probably blacks too.

Black & white like that is always done as last minute as possible too.
I would have flooded it in advance but the monogram I would have done minutes before delivery.

antonia74 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:27am
post #18 of 27
Originally Posted by bakinccc

I think I'll pm Antonia74 too. It's just that there's so many wonderful cookies that I see on here with black and white details that I thought I'd ask everyone first. I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif must have the answer!!!!

Gorgeous cookies! The contrast of the black and white is stunning. I do agree with others though when I would have made the whole process way easier on myself by mentioning the threat of "black mouth" from a large cookie with dark icing and perhaps suggesting that they choose to do them all with the white backgrounds instead? I'd have suggested to them that we could add contrast with both black and white ribbons for packaging. Doesn't mean they would have listened though. icon_rolleyes.gif

Anyhoo, I hope I can help! icon_smile.gif (Please do take these comments with a grain of salt though, as I can only vouch for experience with my own icing recipe! icon_wink.gif )

As others here have pointed out, icing one colour over a very contrasting icing shade is tricky and the biggest tip I can give is to let the bottom icing dry longer before you add the second colour. I'd have waited a good 18-24 hours in the best case scenario. Yes, the icing appears to be dry after 8-12 hours...but it's not dry all the way through, mostly just on the surface. After 8 hours for an average 4"-5" cookie you could most likely still press your finger right through the crusted icing. Keep one aside as a "tester" next time and you'll see what I mean. It's not dry yet! (Some people will worry here that the cookies won't be "fresh" after a day or two, but we're not making chewy cookies here folks, these decorated cookies are more like shortbreads with crisp icing. Leaving them out of a day or two won't affect their quality by making them "stale" or "softening" them....especially if you have a lightly air-conditioned room in the hotter summer months, etc.)

Secondly, have you perhaps used an excess of food colouring to get that black shade? Could mean that you have thinned your black icing further than your white....making it runnier and more prone to bleeding.

Lastly, a good tip for the future would be to flood the backgrounds just like you did, leave them to dry for 18-24 hours, THICKEN the icing ever so slightly to write the inscriptions. (i.e. the less water in that icing you can use, the better. Less water = way less chance of bleeding.)

Anyway, some vague tips but they just might help you out. icon_smile.gif

sweetcravings Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:55am
post #19 of 27

Oh how i understand your frustration. I made soccer ball cookies not long ago and the exact thing happened to me. I use antonia's royal. I flooded them in the morning..waited all day till evening and piped the black part of the soccer ball. THey looked wonderful...BUT>...the next morning i noticed that most of them had bleed into the!t. I was so upset. OF course the kids didn't mind but i sure did. I can't wait to see what others say about it. Perhaps i did need to wait longer to add the black. I also made jersey cookies flooded with a dark yellow, and piped on black bleeding of the black..I dunno. The one thing i recall is the icing was much thicker for the jerseys, so maybe i did thin the black too much for the balls.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:07am
post #20 of 27

Well for black onto white like soccer balls use fondant for the white and edible ink markers.

bakinccc Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:23am
post #21 of 27

Antonia74 - I so appreciate your response...

After reading it I now have a new perspective on doing black. I can't believe I didn't "get it" before this but it makes sense that a large area of black would take a lot longer to dry than a cookie outlined with black to be filled with other colors later.

I've always thought to dry black icing the same no matter how much is on the cookie. When I do a cookie outlined in black and filled later with other colors including white, the colors hardly ever bleed. It's just a little outline that can dry in 4-6 hours. But if I'm doing a cookie with a larger black filled area, it would take a lot longer to dry than a little outline.

So from now on when I do a cookie filled with black I have to let that dry twice as long as a cookie that's just outlined in black before adding any other details to it.

Thanks Antonia for helping me get to that "ahaaa" moment!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer icon_smile.gificon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

Honeydukes Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 2:29pm
post #22 of 27

At risk of being wrong again, I'll tell you what I do. I double pipe the white. Pipe the first set, let dry; then over-pipe. The first layer should take on any bleeding leaving the second to stay true to color.

Peeverly Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 3:12pm
post #23 of 27

what if you piped with white then used an edible marker to color the white piping the color you wanted? For example, if you are afraid that red piping would bleed into the white background, then pipe your monogram or whatever with white then color the piping with a red marker? Just a thought, probably wouldn't look as nice but might work.

bakinccc Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 4:05pm
post #24 of 27

honeydukes - I think that would work, but I'm not sure how it would look and same with coloring the piping with edible marker.

I've come to the conclusion that drying time is the key. I was discussing it with my husband (he's sooooo patient with me) that it's like drying up a lake compared to a small other words, black outline will dry way faster than a fully flooded cookie done in black. I just need to plan ahead to allow for more drying time on orders like this.

Thanks for ALL help and suggestions!!

TracyLH Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 9:15pm
post #25 of 27

bakinccc - Thanks for posting such a great question! I just had a request for a cookie that will have black and white side-fy-side and I am so often a bit of chicken in using black for fear of running, so I really appreciate you posting this!

bakinccc Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 9:41pm
post #26 of 27

Your welcome TracyLH!!!!!

dailey Posted 8 Sep 2008 , 6:55pm
post #27 of 27

I've encountered the same problem with the notorious "black bleeding". It seemed no matter what i did, my icing would eventually bleed and ruin my cookies. at any rate, the only thing that i found that has worked for me is using the black premade Wilton cookie icing. For some reason, that stuff doesn't bleed?? However, once, i watered it down to make it thinner and it *did* if you used it, used "as is".

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