Special thanks to J.F for the photo and J. M. for her hand.
Here are my 4th of July macarons- traditional almond shells were dyed blue, swiss meringue cream cheese buttercream filling with a dollop of raspberry preserves in the center. I topped them with a bit more buttercream and a fresh raspberry. I'll spare everyone the recipes, but here are some tricks I learned:
It is better to underbeat your shell batter than overbeat it, as you'll knock some air out when you pipe the shells.
Macarons do not need to sit out for an hour to "harden" their shells. This is a lie.
Swiss meringue over Italian meringue, always. It's easier and more stable, especially when you're adding butter and cream cheese.