Calling All Ri Pros! Please Help Figure This Out!

Baking By Pebbles13 Updated 9 Nov 2008 , 3:56pm by SweetDreamsAT

Pebbles13 Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 12:26am
post #1 of 22

I've had this problem before. After about 12 hours, the RI on my cookies start developing a "stain". Thoughts were that I wasn't baking long enough and the butter was seeping through, so bake longer. I've added more flour, too. So when this happened again to browned cookies that had extra flour, I'd had it! I put the cookies in a low temp oven (125), and, voila! After 30 minutes the "stain" spread through the entire cookie and gave it a uniform look. I'm really glad it worked, but now I'm thinking that maybe it is water evaporating in the icing. Any thoughts? I'd like to solve this once and for all. I'm going to attempt to post the pictures in stages: the original stained cookie; after 15 minutes at 125; then finally after 30 minutes stain was gone (or spread - however you want to look at it). You can check out the final cookies (along with pumpkins and acorns) in my photos. Thanks for any ideas!
LL

21 replies
Pebbles13 Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 12:34am
post #2 of 22

This is the second pic. This is 15 minutes in a 125 oven. The dark "stain" is spreading.
LL

Pebbles13 Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 12:36am
post #3 of 22

This is after 30 minutes in 125 oven. The color is now uniform. What is my problem?
LL

bakinccc Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 12:53am
post #4 of 22

Well that's just too weird! I've never had that happen before so I don't have any advice but just wondering...was all your icing freshly made? And what made you think to put them in the oven at 125 degrees? They look wonderful by the way. icon_smile.gif

Pebbles13 Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 1:00am
post #5 of 22

I made the icing the night before so the colors would be brighter. I really can't contribute it to the humidity because my sister in law never has this problem and she lives 1 mile away from me! I used Antonia74's icing recipe, but this has happened with the regular Wilton RI recipe, too. I think someone needs to stand over my shoulder and see exactly what weird thing I'm doing to make this happen. It doesn't happen every time, but often enough that it frustrates me. I got the idea of putting it in the oven because I had read here where people have had to speed up the drying process of their cookies and put them in a low temp oven, so I thought I'd give it a try.
Thank you so much for the compliment. It really means a lot to me to hear that from you icon_smile.gif

MichelleM77 Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 1:11am
post #6 of 22

I think it's just the icing drying, not anything coming out of the cookie into the icing. That's my thought.

SweetDreamsAT Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 1:40am
post #7 of 22

Cute cookie! So, this is a mystery. It has happened to me twice before... and both times was when I used a dark orange color like on your leaf cookie. Hmmmmmm. Weird!! It happened once last year, and once on a couple of cookies last week. We'll have to sharpen our Nancy Drew skills and get to the bottom of this!!

GI Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 1:43am
post #8 of 22

So have we ever figured this out? icon_confused.gif

Pebbles13 Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 1:56am
post #9 of 22

I'm not sure that it's all figured out, because I can't understand why a cookie would take so long to dry (I'm in AZ, and it's pretty dry now). It's happened on other colors as well, not just the orange. I have PM'd Antonia74 to see if she might have some ideas.

newmansmom2004 Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 2:09am
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleM77

I think it's just the icing drying, not anything coming out of the cookie into the icing. That's my thought.




I agree - I think it's just the icing drying, too. It does take a while for RI to dry and with darker colors it's more noticeable. I've been using RI for years without any staining like this and since it all becomes consistent after being in a low temp oven, it makes sense that the heat from the oven is drying out the icing and - just like paint on a wall - icing does change color a bit when it dries.

Gorgeous cookies, by the way!

newmansmom2004 Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 2:10am
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pebbles13

I'm not sure that it's all figured out, because I can't understand why a cookie would take so long to dry (I'm in AZ, and it's pretty dry now). It's happened on other colors as well, not just the orange. I have PM'd Antonia74 to see if she might have some ideas.




I live in San Antonio and it's pretty dry here as well and it still takes my cookies a while to completely dry...sometimes overnight.

Lenore Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 2:19am
post #12 of 22

Your cookie looks great! I think the experiment that you have just done proves that your cookies just need more time to dry out. The only variable you added was heat, which would have a drying effect.

SweetDreamsAT Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 2:43am
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenore

Your cookie looks great! I think the experiment that you have just done proves that your cookies just need more time to dry out. The only variable you added was heat, which would have a drying effect.


But why only sometimes? I live in a dry climate too, and it didn't happen with other cookies I did at the same time in different colors...

taniabanana Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 1:47pm
post #14 of 22

I have this happen too. It's happened to all colors even white, it's just not as noticeable on the paler ones. I try to blot the cookie with kitchen paper before i ice. For me it's not the icing drying, its something seeping through, like butter. Although i have dug a cocktail stick in the darker bit to see how dry it was and it seemed fine. Would love to know the answer

yankeegal Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 2:17pm
post #15 of 22

I have had this happen when using dark colors(red, black, brown, etc..) I think I may be adding too much food color into the icing. I find it doesn't happen anymore since I make my icing the day before and don't add as much food coloring and let the icing "deepen" in color as it sits. JMHO.
Cute cookie BTW!

charman Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 2:47pm
post #16 of 22

I have been told the same yankeegal...too much icing dye...can't explain it, but i try to cute back, and do a bit of tinting at a time to get the color I want as opposed to just putting a bunch for a quicker affect. Seems to work/help...good luck!

Peeverly Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 2:55pm
post #17 of 22

I had a whole thread about this a couple of weeks ago. I think it is the same thing that happens to me. The "stains" do eventually disappear but it is so distressing because you don't know if it is going to ruin all the cookies. I too thought it was the butter seeping through but I just don't know. Doesn't happen all the time. It probably is the dye.

This is the link. Do you think it's the same thing?

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-608021.html

kimsmom Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 6:12pm
post #18 of 22

I don't think it's just the dark colors as I did pale blue ribbon cookies and the same thing happened to them. I was in a panic as these were awareness ribbons and were being donated to raise money. Some just got worse, and never did clear up. (At least while I had them) I didn't have time to make more so I ended up painting thinned icing on them and sprinkling them with light blue sugar and adding a RI flower in the center. Not the look I was going for, but it covered the splotches.
I sure hope someone can shed some light on this as I'm getting ready to start my Christmas baking. Please!!!

Peeverly Posted 8 Nov 2008 , 10:24pm
post #19 of 22

Yes, it did happen with light blue too. On the converse sneakers it did clear up but on the light blue ones it didn't. I just can't figure it out.

antonia74 Posted 9 Nov 2008 , 3:45am
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by yankeegal

I have had this happen when using dark colors(red, black, brown, etc..) I think I may be adding too much food color into the icing. I find it doesn't happen anymore since I make my icing the day before and don't add as much food coloring and let the icing "deepen" in color as it sits. JMHO.
Cute cookie BTW!




Exactly what I was going to say, I agree.

It has happened to me a few times before...but only when I've had to use a LOT of food colouring in red or black to achieve a deep, dark colour. The only time I get this crystallization is when I've used a large amount of Wilton or Cake Craft food colouring and I've thinned it too much with water. I attribute it to "throwing off the icing's ratio", per se.

After I switched to Americolor gels and had to use only a fraction of the dye to get the same colours, this never happened again.

The fact that your pic was of red icing might be a hint in that direction. How much colouring are you adding to get that shade? (For any deep/dark/bright colour, Americolor/Spectruum are much better at achieving those shades IMHO. You can even add your colouring and then leave the bowl of icing overnight to get an even richer/darker colour more easily.)

If you do add too much water to thin out the icing, the crystallization happens very often too. It really shouldn't be much thinner than the consistency of white craft glue typically.

Pebbles13 Posted 9 Nov 2008 , 5:46am
post #21 of 22

Antonia74: Thanks so much for responding to my question. I might be adding too much water so I'll be careful with that, and as far as the coloring I use both Wilton and Americolor. (I do prefer Wilton's brown over Americolor's). I primarily use Americolor now and put about 4 - 6 drops per cup of icing. It seems like I have to put that much in to get it in the right shade, then I let it set overnight to deepen. I'm going to do another batch tomorrow and Monday so I'll see if this helps. Thanks again!

SweetDreamsAT Posted 9 Nov 2008 , 3:56pm
post #22 of 22

Thank you for your valuable input Antonia74!! I use Americolor too, but maybe I was just getting carried away with it to get a dark "rusty" orange when this happened to me. I let my blacks and reds sit overnight to let them darken, but I will take your advice and do this for other deep, dark, or bright colors so I can add less gel to begin with. Thank you again!!!! icon_smile.gif

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