Macarons are something we didn't really see in The States until a few years ago. Now these little pastries are popping up in bakeries everywhere, and are one of the hot items on a sweet table at any party. I think the appeal is two-fold. Visually they are wonderful to look at with vivid colors and identical size and shape. Second, they are amazing tasting: crunchy on the outside, and then a layer of gooey flavored cream or fruit spread. There are so many creative ways to display them too. Displayed in small bowls or simply lined up on a plate looks great.
For a more dramatic look, you could make an amazing macaron tree like this one! Only takes two minutes :)
They can be expensive, but a few can make a big impact. I am usually an avid DIYer - thinking I can "do anything cheaper" - but unless you are a professional pastry chef, I wouldn't recommend making these because they are one of the hardest cookies to make.