Macarons can be tricky, I know. And they can be scary. And they can be... okay, I get it. But I promise you that I was able to get 25 perfect cookie sandwiches on my first try. There was no cracking, no misshapen ones, no ugly ones... If you can be patient and follow my instructions, I promise you will be enjoying some delicious, fancy, French desserts. Just fill them with whatever you want. I did a caramelized white chocolate ganache, but normal chocolate, a buttercream, or some other icing would all be delicious. —Taylor Ayral
Preheat the oven to 180 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Sift together almond meal, powdered sugar, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside.
In a large, clean metal bowl, whip together egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until foamy. Sprinkle in half of sugar and whip (on med high) until soft peaks. Add in other half of sugar and vanilla. Whip on high until peaks are just barely stiff.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients in two or three additions. Continue folding until the the batter has taken on a glossy sheen and falls freely from the spatula. Place in a piping bag with a 10 mm tip.
Pipe directly onto the lined baking sheets. Pipe straight down until you have a circle about 1.5-1.75 inches in diameter. Rap the pans on the counter to get rid of any big bubbles, and allow the cookies to dry uncovered at room temp for 30 minutes.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating pans half way through. After they're done cooking, turn off the oven, open the door, and leave cookies in the cooling oven for 15 more minutes. Move to racks to cool.
Turn over half the cookies and pipe about 1/4-1/2 a tsp of whatever filling you choose onto the flat bottom. Top with another cookie the same size. Enjoy!