Royal Icing - Some Drying, Others Not

Hello, fellow cookie peeps! 

I'm having a little trouble with my royal icing. Colored icing is drying hard on some cookies and, on other cookies, it's not close to being dry even after ~7hrs. They are from the same batch, and the icing was not colored on the cookies that didn't dry. 

The icing recipe I use is sifted powdered sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and egg whites.

Any info is appreciated! It's just becoming frustrating when I have an order due and my icing is not drying. :/

Thank you!

Original Post

Are you in a humid area? When the humidity spikes here it affects my drying time greatly. If you have a dehumidifier that can help, or a dehydrator, or I've even heard of some people putting their cookies in the oven on the lowest possible setting. 

I don't use egg whites so I can't say how that would affect drying. With my icing made with meringue powder, the culprit is always humidity. Good luck.

Hmmm, I can't explain why the same batch of icing (just colored differently) would dry at different rates on the same day, under the same conditions. That is indeed odd. Usually pure egg white-based icing is very reliable in terms of its drying, as you're not dealing with possible variations in meringue powder manufacturers' use of albumen in their formulations. Is it possible you used white coloring in the icing that did not dry as well? Sometimes too much of that has seemed to delay drying for me - I think it has something to do with the titanium dioxide in it, though not at all sure.

At any rate, you can still/always accelerate drying using some of the methods explained by Terry above.

I'm not entirely sure if this is relevant, but I've had a similar issue with icing not drying properly.

I use egg-white RI as well, and I noticed sometimes whole batches would not dry properly, and sometimes sub-batches of one colour would dry whereas other colours wouldn't. When the icing refuse to dry, it also comes out very matte, and not with the light sheen I usually get. I've never, however, had cookies made with a same sub-batch on the same day react differently. I initially blamed high humidity - it sometimes feel as if it rains constantly in the winter and spring here - but now we've had a very dry summer and I experienced the worse drying issues I had ever had. 

My current hypothesis is my issue is over-beating the icing. I seem to encounter it much more when I whip the RI to a very puffy meringue-like texture, and less when my icing is 'flater' or runnier. I also think this has perhaps something to do with egg content; my recipe uses, I believe, a relatively high egg-white to sugar ratio (100g egg whites to 500g powdered sugar).

Anyone have thought on this?

Annelise (Le bois meslé) posted:

I'm not entirely sure if this is relevant, but I've had a similar issue with icing not drying properly.

I use egg-white RI as well, and I noticed sometimes whole batches would not dry properly, and sometimes sub-batches of one colour would dry whereas other colours wouldn't. When the icing refuse to dry, it also comes out very matte, and not with the light sheen I usually get. I've never, however, had cookies made with a same sub-batch on the same day react differently. I initially blamed high humidity - it sometimes feel as if it rains constantly in the winter and spring here - but now we've had a very dry summer and I experienced the worse drying issues I had ever had. 

My current hypothesis is my issue is over-beating the icing. I seem to encounter it much more when I whip the RI to a very puffy meringue-like texture, and less when my icing is 'flater' or runnier. I also think this has perhaps something to do with egg content; my recipe uses, I believe, a relatively high egg-white to sugar ratio (100g egg whites to 500g powdered sugar).

Anyone have thought on this?

The slower the icing takes to dry (i.e., if it starts very wet or it is humid) and the more humid the environment, the more matte the icing will dry. If you set your cookies to dry in/near a dehydrator or near a fan, you will get more of a satin finish even on humid days.

I would say you mix your icing relative loose TO START. My egg white-based icing is initially mixed in a ratio of 5-6 oz:32 oz (egg whites:sugar) or a ratio of about 1:6 (to your 1:5), but I do add water later to thin to whatever consistency I need, so I rather doubt our ratios end up being too different. Yet, I don't have issues of the icing never drying or drying matte if I dry under controlled conditions - usually I dry in an air-conditioned space in front of a dehydrator (not in it). Also, sometimes it can look dry outside, yet it is still very humid. Such is the case here - it may be sunny for days, but the relative humidity is still pretty high. You might get a hygrometer and see what the relative humidity is in your work space and then try to manage it through dehumidifiers and auxiliary drying tools (fan, dehydrator, oven).

I think over-beating makes the icing more porous and spongy and harder to pipe; when I've seen this done, the icing dries with more of a grain to it (less slick), which could give the appearance of being less shiny. It also tends to crumble more when dry if beaten too long. At least those have been my observations. I don't beat very long, so I don't often have troubles with porosity/puffiness.

Add Reply

Likes (2)
RosannaEvelindecora
×
×
×
×