Ugh! I am working on an order of Maroon cookies and as is the M.O. once the color was created the RI doesn't harden. I have had this problem for years now and each time I think I've troubleshot the issue: i.e. maybe one of the utensils had oil on them (new set of utensils only for RI), maybe its the humidity (portable dehumidifier and gauge), maybe it was a bad lot of red coloring from Wilton (bought new color from different store, same brand though). The only thing I can think of now is that its the manufacturer of the red!
Does anyone know what gives?
Awww.... sorry to hear you're havign trouble with the icing!
I'm guessing/wondering if it's because you used too much red coloring to try to get the red color of the icing you wanted....
I use Americolor red and I don't need to use nearly as much as I did when I tried using the Wilton brand. Have you ever tried another brand of coloring? If so, did you have the same problem?
When I make a dark color, like red or navy or black, I start by coloring my icing a different way - I use cocoa to get a brown color for maroon or black, a red colored flavoring or cherry juice for reds, etc.. That way I don't have to use quite as much coloring to get eh desired deepness of color. Also, I use Americolors, as I've said, and I color the icing to close to the color I want (not all the way there) and then let the icing sit in an air-tight container at room temperature or several hours or overnight to let the color deepen.
As an added benefit, the icing "sitting" releases a lot of air bubbles and helps to lessen bleeding.
What recipe are you using? I have never had a problem with any color hardening on cookies...Try Antonias74 icing recipe in the recipe section under royal icing.It rocks!!
Thanks for the feedback. I have not tried another brand, but will order some today! I use the basic recipe: 6 tblsp meringue powder, 2 lb confectioners sugar, 2/3 cup water. It very well may be that I'm using too much red coloring this time. I've added extra mp too and no luck!
My tutor once told me that if you use a coloring that has glycerine in, when you use a lot to get a deep color it will not harden propely as the glycerine keps the RI soft. I don't know if this is the case with you as I've never used Wilton.
Bonniebakes is right, sound as if you've used way too much food colouring to get the deep shade you needed. In turn, you've thrown off the royal icing ratio of liquids/icing sugar. So much food colouring in a recipe won't allow it to dry solid.
As other have mentioned, Americolor brand is your best bet for those dark, hard-to-tint shades like black, red, maroon, navy blue, brown, forest green, etc.
Yes! I did have way too much coloring. I added anther batch of icing to the already colored icing and it finally dried! Not as deep, but dark enough. I have had this problem with browns and blacks before to. Now I know!
You guys are great!