Best Way to Calculate Amount of Icing Needed

Good morning!

 

I have a problem which all my internet research (also on this site's forums and blogs) didn't bring a solution so far and I will be grateful for your tips, experience and advises.


I normally have too much icing, but sometimes also too little. All in all I'd say that appr. 30% goes down the drain. And I ha#& that kind of waste

 

For a batch of 20 medium sized cookies I prepare about 250-300gr of RI, depending on how many colors I plan to use. I'd actually need less, but there has to be a certain amount of material in the bag or I can't handle it. This is especially annoying if only a couple of red dots are in demand.

 

I know that RI can be stored for some time, but this would mean that I'd already be fixed with my color selection for the next batch - and I don't want that either. And honestly, storing 1 Tbsp of icing in an air tight container...?

 

Additionally I also have some problems calculating the amount of each color needed for larger areas, too. That leaves me with loads of yellow and I either have to make an new RI batch for the green, or just go without it after all.

 

How do you calculate the correct amount of the total quantity needed, and of the quantity of the individual colors? Is there a simple rule that I am not aware of or do you all face the problems I mention above?

 

Thanks in advance for sharing with me!

 

 

 

Original Post

Here's a tip from Tracy at Whisked Away Cutters that was posted several months ago to this site; I think it's very helpful: http://cookieconnection.juliau...-icing-amount-needed

 

I don't worry much about leftover icing because it can be frozen and remixed into other colors, but . . . you can easily extend Tracy's idea if you are working with a more complex design and multiple colors by drawing out the design and placing it on a scale. Then add white icing to each of the areas you need to color a different color, weighing after you've filled all of the areas that need that color. This will give you the weight of that color needed for one cookie. Continue in this manner until you've filled and weighed all the other parts needing a different color. Then scale up each color by the number of cookies you're making for the total weight of each color needed.

 

Presumably you know the weight of one batch of your icing; then it's an easy calculation to figure out how may batches you need to mix to create all of the colors. Or weigh out the white icing as you mix the colors and store any leftover white for another time.

I don't know if I am able to communicate this properly.  Hopefully others will give their two cents too.  lol  Everyone has two cents, right?  hahahhaa  I've read that some take the leftover and put it in a separate container then when a color is needed they use some of it to make the desired color.  Now this would mean knowledge of the color wheel.  Looking in the air like a kindygarten yung un - uhhhh!  Yes, I drift off...  lol  Trying to remember what was taught for the color wheel, of course, years gone by new colors bloomed/were created. 

You could use a toothpick/scribe tool/tip of knife to plop down a beads of chosen color.  All that you do is just set aside a little icing, color it, loosen it and use it.  No waste. 

 

I make a batch of white and go from there.  I'll separate an amount and use judgment as to how much I'll need for a color, and of course, knowing how much liquid plays a part.  I know that the chosen color should be mixed at once because if it is used up it isn't likely that making another batch of that color will be precise.

 

Originally Posted by donaharrisburg:

I make a batch of white and go from there.  I'll separate an amount and use judgment as to how much I'll need for a color, and of course, knowing how much liquid plays a part.  I know that the chosen color should be mixed at once because if it is used up it isn't likely that making another batch of that color will be precise. 

 

That's why weighing out the amount needed for a certain color is helpful - it's more precise, so you minimize the possibility of running out and having to remix a matching color. Of course, if you weigh the icing to start and count the drops of coloring that went into it to create the original color, it's easier to replicate a color too. God bless the scale; more people should use them! 

Julia!  Thanks for the input, you know I get wordy and have fears that I am not explaining very well.  I must tell you though, all of my colors do not flow out easily; they'll drop out in a big blob or more than one will drop at a time.  It's not easy for me to count.  For some I have to use a tpick or something to just get a little dab...  And honestly, I never thought of weighing batches of color needed.  I have several weight machines and use them but never for a mixed batch, or set aside batch of icing.  I'll have to try that.  I don't understand how a colored batch can be calculated/weighed when it depends on the size of a cookie and the area that needs a specific color.  Yes!, you have me in a tail spin!  Smiling!

Wow, so many replies! Thanks at everybody!

 

The weighing method (which I couldn't find with the search because it never even crossed my mind to browst the clips for the topic ) seems like a pretty good approach which I will definately try, paired with the toothpick idea if only small dots are required.

 

Did anybody try a syrenge for small amounts of colored lines? I thought it might work, but am not really sure. The icing would really have to be fluid, though... hmmm.

Originally Posted by Laegwen:

Wow, so many replies! Thanks at everybody!

 

The weighing method (which I couldn't find with the search because it never even crossed my mind to browst the clips for the topic ) seems like a pretty good approach which I will definately try, paired with the toothpick idea if only small dots are required.

 

Did anybody try a syrenge for small amounts of colored lines? I thought it might work, but am not really sure. The icing would really have to be fluid, though... hmmm.

There is a whole category of clips called "Tips, Tutorials and Templates" or something like that. It's where people post images that are also linked to photo tips or tutorials that may be off site. So it's a particularly useful clip set to search for these sorts of things.

Originally Posted by Ghasan887:
I just weigh my cookies before I decorate them and then weight them after

If all of your designs are fairly similar and your cookies are the same size, I can see that this would be a useful approach. But if you have widely varying cookie sizes, numbers of colors, and designs, I would think it would be more accurate to weigh a test cookie beforehand.

I like to use up extra icing by making lots of Royal Icing Transfers to save for the future. I also use it for practice making roses and other flowers, trying out new piping techniques, and sometimes just try mixing the different colors I made to see what new colors I come up with. Its a great way to figure out what adding black will do to each color. If you take a picture of the colors you used and what the result was, you have a great record of the colors you can make. Just remember to put the bottle of color you used next to the icing. If not, you may not remember exactly which red you started with. It may not seem very cost effective to waste it practicing, but you will make up the loss over time by making your mistakes while practicing instead of on a large batch of cookies you end up having to redo.
Originally Posted by Kelly:

I can attest that RI lasts several weeks if sealed properly in the refrigerator.  It is just sugar and water after all.  I can't imagine throwing it away unless I screwed up the color.  

Many people freeze it too. I don't - again, I tend to make just what I need - but it saves well.

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