Sandra Denneler’s pinata cookies attract attention from thousands, including Pee-wee Herman and the Huffington Post

WICHITA — She’s not going to quit her day job just yet, but Wichita State University art director Sandra Denneler is getting a lot of attention for some pinata cookies she created.

It was Cinco de Mayo 2011 when she first made the now-famous cookies. The year before, Denneler had made mini taco cookies that co-workers loved. She wanted to top them, so she created three-in-one pinata cookies. The middle cookie is hollow and spills mini M&Ms when broken.

Sometime in the last year, someone pinned Denneler’s recipe on Pinterest, and word spread.

More recently, the SheKnows food blog asked Denneler to create a tutorial on how to make the cookies.

So far, more than 40,000 people have “liked” it on Facebook, and more than 188,000 have pinned it on Pinterest.

“It was kind of weird because all these other blogs started posting it,” Denneler says.

The Huffington Post called this week and wanted to feature the recipe as well.

Even Pee-wee Herman commented on it on Facebook and Twitter.

“Oh, god, I was thrilled and excited and just laughing out loud because I thought of all people in the world, I never thought Pee-wee Herman would be a fan of mine,” Denneler says.

Her favorite comment came from one of his fans, though.

Denneler says the fan wrote, “Martha has finally been upstaged.”

“I was like, ‘Yes!’”

Denneler says people often ask her if she’s going to start her own bakery.

“No, there’s no money in butter and sugar,” she says. “But if someone was paying me to come up with the idea, you bet.”

Denneler says her advertising background is what inspires her.

“I like the concept and strategy behind my baking,” she says. “I don’t necessarily like to frost 100 cookies.”

Especially if they’re as time consuming as her pinata cookies.

“Oh, yeah, they’re a huge waste of time. Are you kidding me?”