Preventing Air Bubbles in your Royal Icing
Air Bubbles in Royal Icing: Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy??
Anyone who has ever flooded a cookie has likely run into the dreaded air bubble.
It is a flaw that is likely only noticed by the cookier themselves, but it’s an annoyance, nonetheless.
That being said, what can we do to eliminate them?
Here are a few things to try:
Don’t try to rush the process
The best thing you can do after mixing your flood icing is to cover the bowl (I use Glad Press N Seal to make sure air doesn’t get in there) and walk away for a bit. Come back every 5-10 minutes and drag the flat edge of a spatula across the surface of your icing to pop the bubbles that have risen. Cover it back up again, and repeat.
Bang them Out
If you are super impatient, you can fold a dish towel into a square and then bang the bottom of your bowl down on it to try to…gently encourage those air bubbles to make their way to the top of the icing so you can scrape them away. Repeat as needed.
Get bubbles out during the mixing
Most royal icing recipes recommend mixing on high to achieve that lovely stiff icing consistency, but mixing on high also incorporates air into the icing, causing bubbles. After reaching stenciling/detail consistency, consider adding your water and food coloring to the mixer bowl and mixing on low. This can start to work out some of the bubbles that you have just created, while saving your wrist from mixing in color and water.
Massages and Helicopters (really)
Once you place your icing in your piping bags, gently massage the bag to force air bubbles to the top and icing toward the tip. With the bag tied off, you can use the “helicopter method” by gently swinging the bag in a circular motion to force any remaining air bubbles toward the tied-off end. For the love of your kitchen, please make sure to not do this with a bag you have already cut open—unless you have been meaning to clean your ceiling anyways.
Tap the cookie
For freshly-flooded cookies, you can carefully tap them against your counter to bring air bubbles to the surface so that you can pop them with your scribe (or a toothpick).
Following these suggestions should help minimize the air bubble stress in your cookie process, but always remember: practice makes progress, and at the end of the day, you are making cookies—don’t be too hard on yourself!
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