Luster Dust


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Hi all! I’ve recently been making sugar cookies covered with fondant and as decoration I was painting thin lines of gold paint (luster dust) I mixed this with vanillla extract as we don’t use alcohol at home but it tastes really bad and bitter Almost as if I’ve bitten into paracetamol! I’m so disappointed by this as I loved the look it gave. Is this how it usually tastes?
 
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Hi all! I’ve recently been making sugar cookies covered with fondant and as decoration I was painting thin lines of gold paint (luster dust) I mixed this with vanillla extract as we don’t use alcohol at home but it tastes really bad and bitter Almost as if I’ve bitten into paracetamol! I’m so disappointed by this as I loved the look it gave. Is this how it usually tastes?
Extract has alcohol in it. But it also has the flavor of the vanilla. Are you using real vanilla extract or artificial?

Part of the reason people use vodka is it doesn’t impart a taste. The luster dust itself should not have a taste. But if you use extract, you’re going to end up with a taste because the extract is alcohol and whatever flavor extract you’re using. And you could end up with a really unpleasant taste.

If you make a lot of cookies it might be worth it to invest in a small bottle of vodka.
 
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Thank you for your reply! The thing is I know it’s only a tiny bit of alcohol but we don’t ever use or drink alcohol at so I use vanilla extracts that doesn’t contain alcohol, the vanilla extract I used is the brand “Beau”.
Also I had dyed some fondant to put on my sugar cookies using Wilton pink gel colour I’m not sure if I used too much but it made the fondant really bitter I was so shocked by this as it never happened when I dyed fondant blue the day before! I hope it’s because I used too much and not because of the pink colour itself..
 
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Thank you for your reply! The thing is I know it’s only a tiny bit of alcohol but we don’t ever use or drink alcohol at so I use vanilla extracts that doesn’t contain alcohol, the vanilla extract I used is the brand “Beau”.
Also I had dyed some fondant to put on my sugar cookies using Wilton pink gel colour I’m not sure if I used too much but it made the fondant really bitter I was so shocked by this as it never happened when I dyed fondant blue the day before! I hope it’s because I used too much and not because of the pink colour itself..

If it’s alcohol free vanilla it‘s most likely an artificial vanilla; fine for in baking, but it’s not the vanilla that is needed for the luster dust.

Real vanilla extract is used specifically because it is made with alcohol. Luster dust and pedal dust have to be diluted with alcohol because water or other liquids can dissolve (damage) the sugar in the fondant as it sits. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it pulls water from the environment. If you put water on fondant, it will pull the water in. As it sits, it will also pull water from the air. The bad taste is due in part to the fondant breaking down and mixing with the dyes. In addition, artificial vanilla usually has more intense flavor because it’s artificial. So that is only adding to the problem. If you are using a baker’s emulsion, that is water based.

It’s not the extract that is needed for the luster dust, its the alcohol in the extract. And really, its not for the luster dust, it is because of the sugar in the fondant.


Fondant and dye brand names really matter. Wilton brand is the poorest quality of both fondant and dyes. Nothing is worst than Wilton. There is only two things in the entire Wilton line that I use: baking spray and cloth baking strips. No one uses Wilton because the quality is so poor—well, you tasted it, you know. Imagine delivering product that tasted like o_O

Fondant: Fat Daddio for taste and work ability. It’s available through specialty cake decorating shops and online. Due to shops being closed, the bright white is pretty much sold out every where online. I was searching for some a couple of weeks ago and could not find any bright white. This stuff rolls like a dream. For high humidity, Carma Massa Ticcino. But this is a professional line, so comes in larger tubs and is VERY pricey. But is is amazing and is the preferred fondant for very high end pastry chefs.

Food coloring: Americolor gel dyes and powdered colors.

just one last note…decorated cookies are more for show. I’ve yet to come across a decorated cookie that was worth eating. And I’m an exceptional baker. Cookies have to be made sturdy so the dough is pretty bland. Royal icing is cloying sweet and I’ve yet to meet anyone who likes fondant. Think of them as eye candy more than an edible.
 
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