I used the regular recipe instead of the reduced sugar recipe for macaron shells as I baked these along with Descendants of the Sun plush toy macarons, some Charlie Brown and Snoopy macarons and sheep macarons. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. You may refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a systematic presentation of the basics and complex shaped macarons. You may refer to my video tutorials for macaron basics and piping of complex shapes on the blog too.
I didn't want the hassle of trying to figure out where to pipe the eye and body patches on the dog so I tried another way of piping the macaron shells, which is to pipe the brown patches first before piping the white parts of the body. The resulting shells are thinner due to the complex piping path so if I were to do this again, I would stick with the more challenging way of gauging where the eye and body patches should go after covering the whole doggy shape with white batter. Much as many of you think that I am an expert at making macarons, I still have lots to learn and I still make mistakes :). If I don't try something different and fail, I will never know :).
Just to share some pictures of the process...
Piping steps that I took.
Please adjust baking time and temperature according to your oven. As a rule of thumb, use a higher starting temperature of 130-140°C for the first half of the baking time (about 10-15 minutes depending on size of your macaron shells). Lower the temperature if necessary for the second half of the baking time. This is to ensure that your shells are not hollow but not browned. Practice makes perfect when it comes to working with your oven. Always use an oven thermometer!
Freshly baked shells!
I used a combination of royal icing and edible marker to add in the details. Uncle is turning 70 soon so my friend requested for the number to appear on some of the doggies. I decided to include it on the dog tag :).
My friend had some of my macarons filled with dark chocolate ganache a few months ago and loved it much so she requested for it again for these doggies.
Filling up with dark chocolate ganache.
Thank God that despite the thin shells, the macarons were very much loved!