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Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

These family-favorite pumpkin cookies taste so good, it's hard to eat just one! They freeze and travel well, especially if you let the icing completely dry, then layer the cookies between sheets of waxed paper. —Leona Luttrell, Sarasota, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch
  • Makes
    6-1/2 dozen


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans and dates.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 13-15 minutes or until firm.
  • Meanwhile, for frosting, combine the butter, brown sugar and milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in maple flavoring and vanilla.
  • Cool slightly; beat in enough confectioners' sugar to achieve spreading consistency. Remove cookies to wire racks; frost while warm.
Nutrition Facts
2 each: 249 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (29g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.
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  • Dee
    Dec 15, 2019

    Even the people that don’t like pumpkin that have tried these love them. I do alter the frosting to be more of a glaze as I feel the frosting would be way too sweet and thick. I reduce the powered sugar by at least a 1/3 and then add milk as needed if it starts getting thick as it sits.

  • margamouse
    Dec 26, 2013

    I made these with gluten free flour and everyone loves them. Going to try and freeze them to see how that works out. Didn't have the dates or nuts so I made them without. Didn't have maple flavoring but tastes amazing with just pure vanilla extract.I took some to the neighbor and she couldn't stop raving about them.

  • Donnaah
    Nov 21, 2013

    I had difficulty with the frosting. It set too quickly. I think 3 minutes is to long to boil the brown sugar/butter mixture. The consistency is similar to fudge. It does have a nice flavor.

  • ljjustice
    Nov 5, 2013

    The first time I made these I halved the recipe thinking I didn't need that many cookies. BAD IDEA! The next day I made the full recipe and wished I had doubled it. I took some to work and they disappeared immediately with rave reviews. I sent some to work with hubby for his employees and had several send compliments galore! I've been making double recipes of these ever since. I ship them off as gifts and have requests from folks to "never be removed from the cookie list". They are the best cookie EVER even for those who don't care for pumpkin!

  • jimkaren2002
    Jan 6, 2013

    This is a very tasty cookie a tad to much lard for me.. But still like them alot..

  • b4hb
    Nov 30, 2012

    No sticking problems. something is missing. did you forget an ingredient. there are no eggs.

  • cherstad
    Nov 21, 2011

    These were fabulous! Just the right amount of spice in the cookie, and the caramel frosting was buttery and rich. However, I did have to make a few adjustments along the way. I baked a couple test cookies first, and found that these spread very little. So in subsequent batches, I flattened the cookies slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass. I found that I did not need to bake them as long as indicated in the recipe. 11 minutes did the trick in my oven. The frosting was initially too dry and thick, but I just added a couple tablespoons of milk to thin it out. The end result was one of the best cookies I've ever tried!

  • mrsbates
    Oct 23, 2011

    I was looking for a recipe that would outdo my current pumpkin cookie recipe. This just wasn't it. I ended up greasing my pans and turning the tempurature down to 325 degrees. The first batch stuck badly to the pan and the bottoms were way too dark (almost burnt). I agree with some of the latter comments about the icing. I ended up making a homemade vanilla frosting in which I added a little cinnamon to in order to meld the flavors together. The overall texture of the cookie, however, was very nice.

  • repooc1
    Dec 18, 2010

    I would not boil the frosting ingr for 3 min. my frosting was almost to hard ball stage and would be more careful of how much pd sugar I added. frosting set up too hard on the cookies and much too sweet. I will make them again and modify my frosting a little. also I added nuts and raisens instead of dates

  • S.L.F.
    Nov 18, 2010

    Sorry I have not made these yet, but rated it high because every recipe I have tried from TOH has been excellent. I have a question. When it says to frost while warm, does that mean while the cookies are warm, or the frosting? Thank you.