When I was a tween, summer was basically the greatest thing ever. I had a handful of very best friends who I hung out with and there was a small selection of things we did. Each day we decided to either go to the pool, the library, a movie or the mall. That’s pretty much all we ever did and yet it was so fun. (We also spent an embarrassing amount of time coming up with reasons to call the boys in our class, but let’s pretend like that’s not true.)  We had the absolute best time doing these things, even if we saw Clueless and Pocahontas in the theatre four times each (not exaggerating.) When the mall was our chosen activity, we would often roam around Gap, The Buckle, Claire’s (the coolest!) until we were hungry for some sort of highly nutritious mall snack like a pretzel or a cookie. The cookie store was not only the place that sold those chocolate chip cookie cakes we all had to have for our birthday parties, but they also sold these irresistible little treats called dinky doozies. Basically two tiny little M&M cookies sandwiched with a bit of frosting. (I believe there was also a large version, the double doozie, with full size cookies. Yikes.)  Though it has probably been nearly 20 years since I have been in one of those stores, I still think of those happy little treats with such fondness.

Andrew has been asking me to make M&M cookies for months and we never got around to it, but each time he asked I couldn’t put the idea of dinky doozies out of my mind. When the kids started school a couple of weeks ago, I knew it was finally time to make them since they would be perfect little lunchbox desserts. Boy, was I right. The kids absolutely loved making these with me. Piping the frosting and sandwiching them together is pretty much the height of fun in case you were wondering.  The homemade version is of course better than the original – sweet, certainly, but not so much your teeth hurt and with a dash of salt to balance it out. I’ll admit that I find these as irresistible as the kids do, and they make me nostalgic for our good old mall walking days.

  • Yield about 2 dozen sandwich cookies


For the cookies: 

  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. (5¼ oz.) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. (3 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • ½ cup (3½ oz.) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (1¾ oz.) granulated sugar
  • ½ large egg plus ½ egg yolk (or 1 medium egg)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cups mini M&Ms, plus extra for topping

For the filling: 

  • 6½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1½ tbsp. heavy cream
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven 325˚ F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside. With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Fold in the M&Ms with a spatula.

  • 02

    Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves.  With the torn surface facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet. Top each portion with a few extra mini M&Ms. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 10-12 minutes). Do not overbake.

  • 03

    To make the filling, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and mix on medium-low speed just until incorporated.  Add in the salt.  Continue to beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the heavy cream and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated.  Increase the mixer speed and whip on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4-5 minutes.

  • 04

    Pair up the cooled cookies by size. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip to pipe a dollop of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair.  Sandwich together with the remaining cookie and press down so that the filling reaches the edges.  Store in an airtight container.