If not using a macaron mat, draw circles measuring 1½ inches (3 cm) onto your greaseproof paper, leaving a gap of 2 cm in between each one. The circles need to be very dark, so that you can see them when the paper is turned over.
Cut the ends off your piping bags and then fit one with your round piping nozzle and the other with your star nozzle. Stand them up, one in each glass, and roll down the sides of the bag over the glass edges, so that you and easily fill the bottom half of the bag.
Sift together your almond flour and icing (confectioner's) sugar. The almond flour will need rubbing through the sieve, it can be useful to use the back of a spoon to do this.
Ensure your bowl is spotlessly clean, best practice is to wipe it and your whisk attachment with white wine vinegar to remove any grease that can't be seen.
Place your egg whites and your cream of tartar into your mixing bowl, fit the whisk attachment to your stand mixer (or hand mixer) and start to beat your egg whites on a low setting.
After a minute turn up to a medium-high setting and continue to beat for about another 1-2 minutes or until the egg whites form white, soft peaks.
Leaving your mixer running on low, add a tablespoonful of your granulated sugar and leave it to beat in for about 20 seconds before adding another. Continue until all of your sugar has been added. Ensuring your spatula is spotlessly clean, wipe down your bowl several times during this process to ensure all of the sugar from the sides is incorporated.
Turn your mixer up to medium-high and beat your meringue until it forms stiff peaks. This can take 1-3 minutes. Stop regularly to check progress as you don't want to overbeat. Stiff peaks will be unmistakable, they simply don't droop over. If you are not sure then you probably have not reached this stage and need to keep beating.
Add your vanilla extract and a small dash of food colouring and beat in. You want a very bright yellow as the colour will fade as the macarons bake.
Next, take your almond and icing sugar mixture and add about a third to your meringue. Use your spatula to carefully fold it in. Folding involves turning the mixture over onto itself rather than mixing in circles, this helps retain air. Once incorporated add another third and repeat the process, then the final third.
Once you have added all of your almond and icing sugar mixture, carry on folding a few times, just until the mixture starts to loosen up a bit and become a bit wetter. At this point scoop up some batter onto your spatula, hold it above the mixture and see if it slowly drops from the spatula, enabling you to "draw" a figure 8 without the stream breaking. If the mixture breaks, fold it a few more times and then try again until you can achieve this.
On the same side as your drawn circles, dot some macaron mixture onto the corners of your greaseproof (parchment) paper, then turn it over and affix to your baking tray.
Add your macaron mixture to your piping bag with the large round nozzle fitted. Squeeze it down to the base and twirl the top to stop the mixture from coming out.
Then hold the bag about a centimetre directly above each circle, gently squeeze the macaron mixture so that it fills most of the circle, you need to leave about 2mm gap between your piping and the edge of the circle so that the macarons have room to spread.
Sprinkle over a few bits of dried meringue over half of your piped macarons, not much though or it will prevent the macaron from rising.
Once you have piped all of your macarons, take the tray, hold it about a foot above your worksurface then let it drop, do this 4 times. This gets rid of any air bubbles. Use a tookpick, or the end of a sharp knife, to burst any remaining air bubbles on the surface.
Leave your macarons to rest for 20-40 minutes, until the tops are dry to touch.
Preheat your oven to 130°C Fan/150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2 and set a shelf in the middle.
Place a tray of macarons onto the middle shelf and bake for 18 minutes, don't be tempted to open the oven door mid-way, it will affect the outcome of your macarons.
Remove and leave to cool on the baking tray.