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?