Dehydrator for drying - yay or nay?

I know there has been some discussion about dehydrator temps and them causing rippling on icing and such.  What I always wonder is, if a dehydrator pulls moisture out of the icing to speed up the drying time, then isn't it also pulling moisture from the cookie hence making the cookie dry?  This is what is stopping me from getting one.

Charity Ford

Cookies by Charity

Original Post

I typically only leave mine in the dehydrator long enough to set the icing exterior to prevent cratering (10 minutes or so), and I run it at 95 F-105 F. This time and temp isn't enough to materially change the texture of my cookies, though I prefer my cookies crunchy anyway.

I had the same thought Charity. I like my cookies tender and chewy and it seems logical a dehydrator would pull moisture from the cookie. So I'm skeptical to buy one. I'm a glaze icing girl and use a heat gun to stop cratering, so I'm not in need of the dehydrator for that use. I'm just not sure I can be convinced it doesn't change the texture of the cookie.
Originally Posted by Cookies by Charity:

I know there has been some discussion about dehydrator temps and them causing rippling on icing and such.  What I always wonder is, if a dehydrator pulls moisture out of the icing to speed up the drying time, then isn't it also pulling moisture from the cookie hence making the cookie dry?  This is what is stopping me from getting one.

 

Originally Posted by Edible Canvas Creations:
I had the same thought Charity. I like my cookies tender and chewy and it seems logical a dehydrator would pull moisture from the cookie. So I'm skeptical to buy one. I'm a glaze icing girl and use a heat gun to stop cratering, so I'm not in need of the dehydrator for that use. I'm just not sure I can be convinced it doesn't change the texture of the cookie.
Originally Posted by Cookies by Charity:

I know there has been some discussion about dehydrator temps and them causing rippling on icing and such.  What I always wonder is, if a dehydrator pulls moisture out of the icing to speed up the drying time, then isn't it also pulling moisture from the cookie hence making the cookie dry?  This is what is stopping me from getting one.

 

But I also like the fact that I don't have to stand waving a heat gun over my cookies; I just set them in the dehydrator and move on to do other things. No down time this way. I'm also not sure a heat gun would have any less of a drying effect on a cookie - some run darn hot and they heat up everything surrounding the cookie, including the cookie too.

I have an LEM dehydrator and absolutely love it. It is a cookie live saver as it allows you to complete cookies much more quickly by almost eliminating having to wait between steps if you are working on a set of cookies. For example, by the time you have flooded 12 cookies, the first cookie you flooded will be just about ready for the second layer of icing details. 

 

I don't notice a change in my cookie's texture or taste from the dehydrator. All a dehydrator does is heat up the air in the unit (some also have fans that blow the air, which is best for cookies). At 95-105 degrees, you are not subjecting the cookie to extreme temperatures and you don't have to leave the cookie in for long. Mine usually spend 2-3 hours total in the dehydrator. 

 

Georganne of Lilaloa wrote a post about using a dehydrator and the affects on cookies: http://www.lilaloa.com/2012/06...hat-you-need-to.html

 

If you are interested in getting a dehydrator, I cannot recommend LEM products enough. They have flat trays, adjustable temperature settings, and a fan. These three features are all important for dehydrating cookies and not found on cheaper models. 

 

Dehydrators also leave royal icing shiny when dry, so the cookies are more visually appealing than cookies that are air dried. Most importantly to me, dehydrators virtually eliminate craters in icing. 

I am new to cookie decorating and have been reading a lot lately about people using the dehydrators. I have a question about them and I'm not sure if this is "a given" or not.

 

If I flood my cookies, say in white icing, do I put them in the dehydrator to dry before adding another color on top, or do I flood them, wait a while and then add my artistic work on top before putting them in the dehydrator? Is this a stupid question?  The reason I'm asking is because I have read a number of people are concerned about the cookies themselves drying out.

 

I am thinking that, if I flood, put in the dehydrator to dry, add the details/other colors, and then put them in the dehydrator again to dry, is this overkill? Am I going to totally and completely take the moisture out of the cookies by that point? 

Royal Icing Diaries - Great question, but it's sort of a new one (different from the one at the top) so I'm going to move it into a forum of its own so it gets better visibility (it's likely to get overlooked at the bottom of this one). If you have a new question, best practice is to check existing forums to make sure it hasn't already been asked and, if not, to start a new topic.

 

I'll send you the link to that topic once I've set it up. Thanks.

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