Trouble with Soggy Cookies and Rippling with Dehydrator

I've had my cookies get slightly soft in the dehydrator on a few occasions - usually when the cookies were large, had a lot of icing on them, and were in the dehydrator for a relatively long time. (If you were to stick cookies back into the oven, they'd typically soften too under the heat.) BUT, I am careful not to move large cookies from their racks right away; rather I remove the whole rack from the dehydrator and allow the cookies to cool on it before I move them. The cookies will usually firm right back up.

 

As for rippling, that too has happened to me on occasion, both within and without a dehydrator. When it's happened in the dehydrator, it's again usually been with very large cookies with lots of flooding icing on them OR if I put the cookies too close to the central channel (fan area) on my Excalibur machine. I find that if I push them as far away from center as possible and crank the temp to closer to 105F, the icing will set more quickly without any wave.

 

I also like to push my icing consistency as thick as possible, because thicker icing will also set faster, usually before the cookie can get soft and without any rippling.

Yes, I have noticed this with very large cookies with a lot of flood icing on it. Today, I noticed something else, when I flooded my cookie and put it in the dehydrator and removed it after 10 minutes to add details, the icing cracked in the center. Why is this happening? It is on the lowest setting. 

So then I tried cranking the temp to 104 and kept the cookie in. Removed in exactly 10 minutes and when to add the finishing touches and there I saw a huge crack in the icing again.

I love the dehydrator as it avoids butter bleeds but now this is posing new problems for me. Please help!

How are you moving the cookies out of the dehydrator? I usually don't move big ones individually right away. I'll remove a whole tray of them from the dehydrator and allow them to cool before I move each with a spatula into their final storage area or onto my counter to work on them again. It may be you're moving them while soft, so the cookie bends and cracks the icing in the process. But hard to say without seeing exactly what you're doing.

Tomorrow I am going to try moving the whole tray, letting it cool and then try to add details. Do you think the consistency of the icing matters while they are in the dehydrator. Like if I were using a slightly runnier consistency, could that be a reason too. 

Thank you for answering my questions.Will try what you said tomorrow.

Yes, as I said, I try to push my icing as thick as possible for flooding no matter what - whether it goes in a dehydrator or not - because the longer the icing takes to dry, the more likely it will do weird stuff - ripple, colors bleed, etc. Thicker royal icing dries faster because there's less water content in it to start.

 

Good luck!

I have definitely noticed the bending/rippling when using the dehydrator.  I found that it was due to picking the cookies up from the dehydrator.  Once I began using a spatula the bending/cracking stopped.  In my case the rippling was due to  the icing sliding on the cookie due to an uneven counter and a slight tilting inward of my dehydrator.  Those two things combined to cause the rippled icing.  If I caught it early enough and placed the cookie on a flat surface it rectified itself.

If you wait until you have the tray full before putting the tray in the dehydrator, that could be part of the problem.  The first cookies on the tray are already partially set.  Just picking the tray up and moving it into the DH at that point might be enough to cause rippling.  I decorate right in front of the DH and move each cookie into the DH with a spatula immediately after it is iced and still totally wet. It takes seconds to pop a wet cookie in the DH. No ripples, less craters, more shine & flatter flooded surface.   It's all good.  Just passing along a tip I learned from a good cookier friend. 

I have rippling issues… I put large cookies in the dehydrator and, after two hours, there were a lot of ripples in the icing. I didn't pick the cookies up the dehydrator, I didn't touch them. I just switched off the dehydrator and opened it. I've read that moving the cookies is one of the main causes for rippling but, as I said, I have not touched them… 

Any idea? Thanks a lot for your help!

Originally Posted by IFeelCook:

I have rippling issues… I put large cookies in the dehydrator and, after two hours, there were a lot of ripples in the icing. I didn't pick the cookies up the dehydrator, I didn't touch them. I just switched off the dehydrator and opened it. I've read that moving the cookies is one of the main causes for rippling but, as I said, I have not touched them… 

Any idea? Thanks a lot for your help!

Not sure what dehydrator you use, but if the cookie is placed too close to the central opening in the Nesco (where the fan directly aims) and/or the icing is pretty loose to start, the icing can ripple on large cookies. I sometimes take large cookies out of the dehydrator and prop the lid/with fan at a greater distance from the cookies than it would be in the dehydrator (so fan isn't blowing as directly on them) and this usually does the trick. Not sure if I explained this clearly; let me know if unclear.

Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:
Originally Posted by IFeelCook:

I have rippling issues… I put large cookies in the dehydrator and, after two hours, there were a lot of ripples in the icing. I didn't pick the cookies up the dehydrator, I didn't touch them. I just switched off the dehydrator and opened it. I've read that moving the cookies is one of the main causes for rippling but, as I said, I have not touched them… 

Any idea? Thanks a lot for your help!

Not sure what dehydrator you use, but if the cookie is placed too close to the central opening in the Nesco (where the fan directly aims) and/or the icing is pretty loose to start, the icing can ripple on large cookies. I sometimes take large cookies out of the dehydrator and prop the lid/with fan at a greater distance from the cookies than it would be in the dehydrator (so fan isn't blowing as directly on them) and this usually does the trick. Not sure if I explained this clearly; let me know if unclear.

But a thicker icing will also minimize rippling. I think that large cookies can sometimes warp and move while drying in the dehydrator, so this can contribute to rippling especially when the icing is thinner and takes relatively long to dry.

Yikes! I just tried my brand spankin' new top of the line 9 rack Excaliber, after saving up all my cookie money and I have ripples, and my white and black icing bled together. So bummed!! I just saw Julia's hint to go thicker on icing and I hope that will help. I had my temp set at the lowest too. I kept them in for about 15 minutes. HELP!! I want to LOVE my Excaliber, right now , we are not friends.. I want this to be a love love relationship, I already love the fact all my cookies are safe in the racks, not spread out all over my kitchen. I also love the fact that the whole box sits on my counter and is a great storage place for my cookies to air dry without me nagging everyone to "not touch my cookies" or "watch out that no hair gets on my white wet icing".

Please, please give me some guidance on what to do with my dehydrator.

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Just from the spread of your icing, it looks like it might have been too wet/loose. But where is the fan on your dehydrator? You may have also placed them too close to it based on the rather big dents that I'm seeing. Ugh - so sorry, the cookies looked so beautiful.

Hi Julia, I wanted to thank you for your advice about pushing a thicker icing. You were absolutely right, it made a big difference. I am posting a picture of the next batch of icing I did. I will also put a separate post up showing how I covered up  my ripples instead of throwing them away. I think it would be a fun post to see what happens when others have made a "AWESOME ACCIDENT".

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@SZV Hi! I redirected your question into a topic of its own, as it's not directly related to the original topic here and is, thus, unlikely to be seen and answered. If you have a brand new topic for a forum post, we ask, for these reasons, that you put it in a new forum post. To find out if your topic has already been addressed, you can search the site using the search feature under the magnifying glass icon in the top right of the site. Going forward, you will find any responses to this aquafaba question under the link above. Thanks!

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