Royal Icing is not that difficult to make - but when I make it for Gingerbread Cookies I always add lemon juice or even lemon zest. Lemon is the perfect foil to ginger, and it tones down the sweetness of the cookies as well as tempers the zing from the black pepper. Some people add glycerin (purchase at your drug store) to make a very shiny icing but it takes too long to dry.
When decorating, I cover my dining room table in plastic wrap, lay out the cookies to decorate and let them dry overnight.
2 egg whites or equivalent if using meringue powder
Juice of 1 lemon
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1. Beat egg whites or meringue powder with water until stiff.
2. Add half the powdered sugar and all the lemon juice – continue to beat in remaining sugar.
3. Separate into small bowls if adding food color paste.
Serving: makes 2 cups
Photo: Starting to decorate by SuperFantastic on Flickr