Extracts Vs. Emulsions Vs. Oils

Baking By kutabby Updated 23 Jun 2009 , 6:53pm by TracyLH

kutabby Posted 21 Jun 2009 , 7:43pm
post #1 of 12

Last night I decorated some NFSC w/ Antonia74 RI as usual. They were blue and white onesies for a cookie bouquet. As I was packaging them up this morning, I noticed that the white ones were discolored in some spots and the blue had a few wet looking spots. They were totally dry. The only thing I could think of is that I used emulsion flavoring for the first time instead of plain vanilla extract. I've used emulsions before, but had never decorated the cookies.
Has this happened to anyone else? I love the taste of the emulsions, but I can't have them discoloring my icing! Did I use them incorrectly (I used them just as I would an extract)? Should I be using oils instead??

11 replies
HeidiCrumbs Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 6:10pm
post #2 of 12

Hhmmm, I only use extracts in my icing, but use emulsions in my dough. I wonder if there is some ingredient in the emulsion that reacts with the meraingue powder? Is it hot where you are right now? My cookies are all messed up because of the humidity we are having. But then it would have been all of your cookies. Gosh, sorry I can't help more!

TracyLH Posted 22 Jun 2009 , 7:31pm
post #3 of 12

Oh, I am so sorry that happened to you! I don't know if this helps for the future, but here are some thoughts:

I have not used emulsions, but I have used all-natural Boyajian Lemon Oil and their Lime Oil in my RI without discoloring. The only issue I find is that it likes to sink in small areas, so I can flood with it, but currently I only do so in large areas and am hesitant to pipe with it. I will be testing that aspect in a few days.

I have been researching all-natural extracts and flavorings and just ordered some from Spices, Etc. as I have never had a problem with discoloring/sinking beyond the norm with using all-natural flavoring or extracts, so I am going this route. I am working a deal for a first time ordering discount for CC'ers and I will post about it in the a.m. Lots of cool flavors and I love the all-natural aspect. Their coconut flavoring was rated the best by Cook's Illustrated, so I have high hopes. They also have an all-natural clear vanilla that actually has vanilla in it compared to the other 'clear vanillas' out there that are made from artificial ingredients. If this works, I can have vanilla taste without the color change the normal vanilla extract I use causes.

On another note, I have had a few problems with darkening of my RI in areas after it was dry (before I ever used the oils) and I think it was because I used too much coloring (it was a deep red and a deep blue). I have pulled back on the amount by mixing the day before and letting it deepen on its own and I think that helps. I saw it one other time with a light color when I decorated the cookies right after baking (they were cool though). Now bake the night before, layer with wax paper and cover in a large pyrex type covered with plastic wrap to keep them fresher. I then start decorating first thing the next morning. I don't know if any of this helps you, but I found this helped compared to baking and decorating right away. I don't know if the butter was more likely to seep through if I decorated right away, but this seems to work. So much is trial and error as we try to figure these things out.

Again, I am so sorry that this happened to you! icon_sad.gif Hopefully someone can chime in about their experience with emulsions in RI.

TracyLH Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 12:06am
post #4 of 12

Clarification - when I talked about "sinking beyond the norm" I am referring to how very thin area (such as very skinny daisy petals) can have a tendency to sink a bit in the middle with normal RI. I found this to be a bit more-so with the lemon and lime oil. The taste was excellent though, so for the time being, I will avoid 'skinny petal shapes" with it. I will be trying the Spices lemon and lime as I don't think I will have the same issue.

cookiemookie Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 12:39am
post #5 of 12


I always thought that you had to be very careful not to get any grease in royal icing or it wouldn't set properly.

So those oils that you have been using are different because they are natural? I've been afraid to ruin a batch of royal using oils instead of extracts.

kutabby Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 2:41am
post #6 of 12

I think I need to clarify icon_smile.gif I used emulsions in my cookies, NOT the icing.
TracyLH - this was a rush order, so I did decorate the cookies the same day I baked them. They were plenty cool, but maybe that had something to do w/ it. Usually I bake the day before I decorate, so the cookies are packed up overnight in a plastic tub w/ wax paper layers.

GeminiRJ Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 11:56am
post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by TracyLH

I am working a deal for a first time ordering discount for CC'ers and I will post about it in the a.m. Lots of cool flavors and I love the all-natural aspect.

Bummer and cool at the same time! Bummer because I just sent in an order yesterday, cool because who doesn't like a discount? (I actually got a 10% discount for it being my first order, so maybe I didn't miss out after all.) I can't wait to try out my new flavors! I had to restrain myself and only ordered four flavors that I thought I would get the most use out of, but I might break down and place a second order if I like how the first flavorings work.

TracyLH Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 4:03pm
post #8 of 12

Cookiemookie - I would have thought the same, but it worked and it was tasty! No spotches, just the sinking issue with small areas. Maybe it is because I added it at the end, so the early on whisking factor was not affected? icon_confused.gif I don't know... but it worked! icon_biggrin.gif I will try the extract though instead so I don't limit myself size-wise. I have a thread going about a discount for CC'ers on Spices Etc. all-natural extracts/flavorings, so I will be trying it soon.

Kutubby - Maybe the issue was indeed not waiting until the next day. That would be my only guess.

Gemini - Bummer! icon_sad.gif I posted the info oon the discount this morning. You might be able to use it. I will ask him about it. It looks like eveyone wants the flat rate shipping option of the two possible discounts. What flavors did you get?

GeminiRJ Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 4:58pm
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by TracyLH

What flavors did you get?

I got amaretto, french vanilla, key lime, and almond. I narrowed that down from eight! I'm most interested in what the amaretto will be like in cookies. The banana, pumpkin pie spice, strawberry, and coconut are next on my "want list".

TracyLH Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 5:18pm
post #10 of 12

I am getting the coconut, some vanillas and some citrus flavors (lime, lemon, tangerine). Pondering the butter, chocolate, toffee for the future. There are just so many great flavors! I am trying to go a few different routes and one is to find a good 'basic' RI flavor when I have a cookie flavor that I don't want to compete with and the other thoughts are to pair flavors or enhance the cookie flavor by carrying it over to the RI. I thought about the amaretto as that sounds delish, but that will have to wait a bit. It sounds heavenly though! I bet it would be delish paired with chocolate! Oh... I am getting hungry!

GeminiRJ Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 5:25pm
post #11 of 12

I thought about enhancing the flavor by carrying it over to the icing as well. It would have to be a white or clear extract, though. That's what was tempting about the coconut. I wanted the almond, too, as I can only get the artificial almond in stores and I didn't like how it tasted in my icing. The cookie was fine, as the chemical taste cooks out. But it left an aftertaste in the icing.

Some flavor combinations intrigue me, too. I wonder what a pineapple cookie with cococut icing would taste like? Or a couple citrus flavors together? So many interesting options!

TracyLH Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 6:53pm
post #12 of 12

I have done almond in the RI with very good results. Right now I am using Nielsen-Massey that I got from www.surfasonline.com and I am going to use it up, but would like to try Spices' version.

I am planning to pair the coconut in the RI with lemon in the cookie then try it with lime. Or coconut in the cookie and the citrus on top. I think Drakegore paired a lime cookie with coconut in the RI and liked it. Pineapple and coconut sounds wonderful! Very summery and fun!

For Fall, I want to play with maple RI and some spices in the cookie or maple in the cookie alone with the maple RI. Dark chocolate with tangerine RI sounds delish or any of the citrus with chocolate as I love chocolate-dipped sugared fruit (wrong term, but you get the idea). Discovered that on a trip and was in heaven!

Now I am REALLY hungry! Well, back to reality and making my cutter! I have baking to do and cutters and templates to make first and am already behind. icon_lol.gif Definitely thrown off with the kids out of school.

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