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I know there is another thread for tried and true methods of applying edible images to royal icing, but my inquiry is more specific. I was wondering if anybody could help me understand why my images sometimes tear as they dry. I thought I'd found a solid approach that worked great for my last edible image job: Working with 6 cookies at a time, I'd pipe a border and flood the cookies with white, and then when the 6th one is flooded, I'd go back over each one that had slightly top-crusted by now, and lay down my icing image after lightly misting the back with water. I would then use a flat paintbrush to gently smooth any air bubbles out of the image and ensure all edges are touching. I would then allow them to dry for 48 hours, since I live in a humid ocean climate (coastal Bay Area).

The last job I did, I used this technique for 150 cookies with great success. This time, however, every one of my images had hairline tears in it! Can anyone explain what is happening to my royal icing that causes the edible image tears as dries?



Last edited by Julia M. Usher
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Hello Sabrina,
in advance: sorry my English is not good ... but I would like to try to help.

I do not know exactly from which components Icing sheets exist. I use sugar paper from "KOPYFORM" in my pictures. Guess it's similar? Moisture and humid climate makes these pictures unattractive. I never had a tear of the pictures. I also do not flood them with RI to fix the picture. I use very sparingly a thick frosting as a substrate so that the pictures stick. Thus, they are dry quickly and have "no time" to blur or tear.

My frosting: powdered sugar and very little water. The mass should be quite thick. I then distribute this very thinly with a knife on the cookies and attach the sugar image. Thus, the cookies are not too sweet!

Maybe this will help you, dear Sabrina?

Hi, I imagine there is some issue with the paper drying faster than the underlying icing, or vice versa, and thus some tension is created that causes the sheets to tear. In the past when I covered cookies completely with icing images (which was not often, hence my experience is not too deep), I iced the cookies, let them dry completely, and then attached the sheets with a thin shmear of corn syrup, though misting with water (ever so little) also works. I never got any tears this way, and there was no risk of messing up the underlying icing because it was fully set at the time of paper application.

Hope this helps!

Maybe it was dry paper as well?  I don't use RI under my prints. I adhere a very thin layer of white fondant icing (like #2 on a pasta roller), and then attach the edible print to that. I dry them print side down for about 15-20 mins so the prints don't curl up, then right  side up and let dry overnight. You can bag them up in 24 hours start to finish, way less drying time. I use corn syrup or piping gel, whatever is handy. 

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