Now, on to the macarons!
I looked at a lot of websites before I finally settled on a recipe that worked for me, and even then it was a lot of trial and error to get the shells to come out. I highly recommend you check out the video on how to cook that before giving it a go. The Not So Humble Pie blog also had a long list of advice to help you figure out why the cookies didn't work. I kept having cracking problems and my feet still aren't perfect, but the batch you see was as close as I got.
Here is the recipe and baking instructions that finally worked for me.
3 extra large egg whites (leave out for 3 hours at room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup almond meal/flour
1. Beat eggs until they are frothy. Add sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form and you can turn the bowl upside down without the mixture falling out. Beat an extra minute and 40 seconds. Add gel food coloring until slightly darker than the color you want. Beat 20 seconds.
2. Combine almond flour, confectioner's sugar, and salt. Whisk. Using a narrow hole strainer, sift to combine into another bowl. Whisk to combine. Repeat. Discard pieces that are too large (don't force it).
3. In 3 batches, add almond mixture into egg mixture. Fold in with a spatula. When all has been added, fold until combined, roughly 30 folds. Do not over mix!! Should be thick but fully combined.
4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Double the baking sheets.
5. Fill a piping bag with a large round tip (I use Wilton's 1A tip) with the mixture. Pipe circles on the parchment paper, holding the bag at an angle.
6. Rap baking sheet on counter hard at least 10 times, rotating the pan. Use a tooth pick to get any air bubbles that remain, and to smooth out any holes.
7. Let stand for 1 hour.
8. Preheat oven to 295.
9. Cook for 20 minutes. Let stand on tray until cool and you can pick up the cookie. Move to wire rack to continue cooling.
10. Fill. I used my favorite strawberry icing (here), substituting for the plan strawberry jam a strawberry jam with champagne...and voila! Strawberries and champagne macarons.
11. Refrigerate overnight and serve. They can be made in advance and frozen, and taken out of the freezer and put in the fridge to defrost the night before the party. Putting them in the fridge really helps to soften them and spread the flavor.