Royal icing is how serious bakers get that finished, professional look to their cookie decorating, like these bright designs on a gingerbread couple. Start with a basic royal icing made by beating 2 tablespoons pasteurized egg white with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 2 cups powdered sugar.
Use food coloring to tint the icing to your desired shade. Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a narrow tip. Alternately, you can spoon the icing into a zipper sandwich bag and snip off the corner with scissors to let a thin stream escape. Royal icing thickens and dries quickly, so cover the surface of any icing you’re not using immediately with a sheet of plastic wrap. After a few practice swipes, you’ll see that drawing with royal icing is surprisingly easy, like using the tip of a marker to decorate your holiday cookies!