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Baking with Dorie: Chocolate-Amaretti Heartbreakers

Use a heart-shaped waffle maker for the best results

I know it’s a little early for Valentine’s Day, but for those of you who plan ahead and test ahead, you might want to give these little heart-shaped waffles a pre-fete run.

The batter for these waffles is almost a chocolate cake batter, which is why, when they’re baked, they taste like no other waffle you’ve ever had. That they’ve got crushed amaretti in them only makes them that much more special. Amaretti, for those of you who need a new addiction, are dry, crunchy, kind-of-meringuey Italian almond cookies that, in their most famous incarnation, are sold wrapped in beautifully printed tissue paper. Even though they’re a splurge, the amaretti I like best are Lazzaroni Amaretti di Saronno—they’re the ones in the red boxes and save-worthy tins. That said—I’ve used supermarket-brand amaretti and my waffles have been fine.

To get the full heart effect, you need a five-of-hearts waffle-maker. Lacking that, don’t give up on the recipe: make it in your regular waffler and, if you want to be truly romantic, cut your waffles ordinaires into hearts.

Once you’ve made the waffles, you’ve got choices about how you want to serve them. You can serve a full five-of-hearts or you can break the hearts apart (so cruel, especially on Valentine’s Day) and serve them separately, dunk them in hot fudge sauce or fill them with ice cream and serve them as sandwiches. You can really have fun with these. You can even turn them into cookies—see Playing Around.

Playing Around: After my waffles book went to print, I made a batch of these heartbreakers, then forgot them on a cooling rack when I packed up and left for the weekend. When I got back, the waffles had dried out and turned into terrific cookies—accidents like this don’t happen often, but when they do, it’s such fun. If you want cookies, of course you can leave these on the counter, but you can also just preheat the oven to 200°F, put the waffles directly on the oven rack and bake them (really, it’s hardly baking, more drying out) for about 1 hour. Transfer them to a cooling rack and, when they crisp, break them into hearts.

About the author: Dorie Greenspan is the author of several books on dessert, most recently Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie can also be found at and on the Bon Appétit website, where she is a special correspondent.

Chocolate-Amaretti Heartbreakers

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