Sunday, March 1, 2009

Perfectly RED Icing...Works For Me Wednesday

The theme for this week's WFMW is "greatest hits." Looking back over my old blog posts (back when I was my only blog reader!), I came across a post on making red icing. This was a HUGE headache for me when I was first starting to make cookies.

Red icing is probably the most difficult to make. It looks too pink, too orange, or too dark. I've fallen in love with AmeriColor's Super Red gel paste coloring. It doesn't take as much to get a nice red and doesn't have the off-taste like some others (Wilton, at least to me).

All icing will darken over time and while drying, but it is especially true with red. Try to make your red icing at least a day in advance, cover with plastic wrap, pressing down onto the icing, cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using and just give it a stir.
When making red, aim for a little lighter than you'd like on your final product. Believe it or not, the icing above turned into a perfect, bright red on my cookies. If the icing is a true, deep red before it goes on the cookies, it can turn extremely dark once dry...close to black. (If your icing is too dark or looks perfectly red before putting it on your cookies, stir in some white icing.)

Red icing can also change in high humidity. If it's humid and you notice your cookies getting splotchy once dried, don't panic. The icing will eventually even out in color.


Go on over and check out the other "greatest hits" on Works for Me Wednesday hosted by We Are THAT Family.

My other WFMW posts:
Some RED cookies:

55 comments:

  1. Last year, after reading this post, I bought Americolor gels for the first time... I love red and black, and you are right: there's no after taste and colors do get more intense if done a day in advance... oh! and I was a lurker at that time, Bridget... Have a nice day!

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  2. Great post. I will have to check into that brand of coloring. I'd like to see a tip on black, too. Talk about difficult... :)

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  3. Is this the icing you used in your header? red and black icing, hard to achedive but so pretty to use.

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  4. Donna...for black, I use the same brand's "Super Black." It works great and just a little goes a long way. I get the icing a dark gray and it turns to black on the cookies.

    Jennifer...yep, that's how I made it for the header cookies.

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  5. Do you have to make your own icing for this to work? Or can I just buy canned frosting (duck) and go from there? I tried making red with vanilla frosting and red food coloring before and I ended up with pink LOL I'm not the greatest at baking, as you can tell.

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  6. Thanks for the tip! I never like that black or red "off taste". I am glad there are other options :)

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  7. Who knew?? I had no idea that the icing pictured would turn into the deep beautiful red!!Good tip!

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  8. This is a good tip. I have to make a Mario cake for my son's birthday this year and I was wondering how I would do the red shirt.

    Thanks!

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  9. That's good to know. I always struggle with red icing around the holidays. Pink Christmas cookies just aren't the same! I will be giving that brand a try!

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  10. Thanks for the info. Where do you recommend purchasing AmeriColor food coloring? I have never seen that brand in the stores in FL.

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  11. I just found your site through WFMW and I love it! I wish you were MY next door neighbor!

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  12. Oh my, I think I just found my favorite blog. The recipes look yummy.

    Thanks for stopping by for WFMW. As far as what I do with DS Lego creations, he doesn't want to keep them. He builds them, plays with them, and then takes it apart and builds a new one. Or I take it apart when I'm cleaning.

    I'd go with your suggestion, line them up. He has to run out of legos at some point. Either he will stop building or start dismanteling.

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  13. Melissa...look for it online or at a bakery supply store. Sur La Table used to carry it, but switched to everything Wilton. :(

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  14. Alexia...I'm sure it would work with canned icing. I've only used it with royal icing (which dries hard) for decorating cookies.

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  15. Somebody recently asked me about red icing - this is perfect!

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  16. Hi Bridget. Love your site, both of them, in fact!! I am making pencil and apple cookies for my kids' teachers this year. I made my "red" icing last night but it was still pink this morning. You say a little goes a long way but what's a little. I made one batch of your royal icing recipe and had to put at least 10 decent sized drops of Super Red in there and still don't have a red. How long does it take to turn it's true color after you mix in the gel paste? Thanks for all you do!!

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  17. Hey Lisa...

    Well, it depends how much icing you are dealing with. I stay pretty true to that color you see in the picture. It should turn red as it's drying....if you are outlining in red, it should start looking rd pretty quickly. Just stay away from getting your icing REALLY dark red. There is where it will dry too dark and you'll run into more problems with bleeding. Hope that helps.

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  18. I hate BROWN! Any suggestions on how to get a nice, deep chocolate brown? I only have the Wilton colours. My first attempt left me with a gross peanut butter colour. I just tried again this week and used the entire container of Wilton brown, ¼ cup of cocoa, tons of green and red and had to add lots of copper and a bit of black. I left it overnight to darken (which it did) and the colour was good – but I had wanted something still a bit darker. This process nearly drove me crazy…

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  30. Great post. I will have to check into that brand of coloring. I'd like to see a tip on black, too. Talk about difficult... :)

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  32. REALLY?!!!

    I've never done Royal Icing before, this is my first year straying from the tubes of frosting at the grocery, and I ordered the Ameripaste gel food colors from King Arthur Flour. In my ignorance, red was the first color I attempted, and when my icing turned that salmon-orange color I panicked (it looked JUST LIKE your picture). I made a couple of orange noses on snowmen and some jumpsuits on a few ninjabread men (don't ask -- I have boys!) and ran to the Oracle of the Internet to figure out how the heck to make icing red instead of pink or orange.

    I started using the icing immediately, but I still have a lot in the bowl. Should I wrap it up airtight and look at it again tomorrow, or will the frosting darken to more of a red once it's already on the cookies? I can't have orange Santa suits for Christmas!!

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  47. I have even added Cherry Kool-Aid mix along with the gel (Small Packet not premixed) even gives it a great cherry flavor. They also have other flavors just match to color

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  48. I am a research-aholic, and in my searches for baking, frosting, cookies, I seem to always find Bake at 350, and that's something to say about you!

    I've made your fondant (love your wedding pic, BTW), and it was the easiest recipe ever. I'm going to work it, roll it out and stencil it today.

    Now I am in a quandary over this "red" icing thing. I have Americolor Red Red, and I am only using a very small amount of butter cream frosting (approx 3 T) for stenciling purposes. I've already used a full drop plus a bit more, and I have this lovely orange color, but not the deep red I was envisioning. So you're saying to just let it ride and it will turn Valentine red? Love, love, love your blog!

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    Replies
    1. Hey unknown... :)

      I've never tried Red Red, but I think it would darken up as well. I'm wondering if your buttercream might be a little yellow and that's why it's looking orange when you add the red. In that case, I'd add more. :)

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