I guess that was a little open-ended, lol! I guess what I am hoping to do is get confirmation about royal icing experiences from cookiers that have experienced both sides. If we are all humble enough to share our mistakes, we can all learn from them and avoid the problem in the future. Share our ah-ha moments.
For example, if someone had a cracking problem, then tried adding glycerine and kept everything else in the recipe and environment the same, what was the outcome? Did it work, make a disaster, or cause no change? Has anyone made a small change to a recipe they consistenty use and know, but the outcome caused a noticeable difference? Was it the expected change? Was it a good or bad thing?
The one time I got a tiny smidge of vegetable shortening (Crisco) in my royal icing, it looked and acted the same for piping, but stayed a sticky, tacky, melted saltwater taffy consistency, and a lighter shade, and was not dry days later. It was only a couple of small royal icing transfers, and all the other ones, including lighter and darker shades of the same color came out fine. Therefore, I have good reason to to believe that shortening is a bad thing for ri, and I will likely know what went wrong the next time I see it. Also, if I wanted a spot to stay sticky (for sprinkles maybe?) on a future cookie, I have an idea of something to try.
I have a pretty good ri recipe that works for me most of the time. But no clue why it sometimes doesn't. I feel for other cookiers posting here with the same problems, especially experienced ones. I wonder how much people base advice on experience, and how many are just passing along advice from elsewhere?
Maybe I just need to think happy thoughts while I mix mine, or keep it afraid of me so it's too scared to misbehave, lol! I know if I were royal icing, I would defy physics if Julia told me to.