Well here is my very first batch of french macarons. I used a vanilla buttercream and colored the the shells with red gel food coloring. Unfortunately only 7 total cookies came out right. My oven cooks very hot so the majority of the others were browned at the bottom and cracked. Next time I will only do one sheet at a time (tried 2 this time) and purchase an oven thermometer so I can monitor the temperature.
My buttercream also had some issues. I think the butter started to seperate once I put it in the refrigerator. It tastes like creamy butter and vanilla (not terrible, but not quite where it should have been).
Overall, I'm pleased with my 7 cookies and will make a second attempt next week.