Auntie Flo’s Soft Pumpkin Cookies


Recently I was going through my cupboard of cookbooks looking for a certain recipe when I came across an old recipe booklet. This booklet was dated 1975 and was actually done on a mimeograph machine (remember those? really makes you appreciate your computer, huh?) Well, I found a recipe with my cousin’s name on it but I’m sure it is from her mother, my Auntie Flo.

My Auntie Flo was a good cook and she was known for it in the community where I grew up. She actually was like a grandma to me, because my grandmothers both died when I was young and I really don’t remember them – plus, Auntie Flo lived right next door to us. Her door was always open to my four brothers and me. If my aunt and uncle were eating when we decided to “pop in,” we were always offered a taste of their meal. We loved our Auntie Flo and Uncle Merl and the feeling was mutual.

When I found this recipe, I thought, “I have to try this one!” I’m glad I did. When I served them to some family members everybody raved how good they were and several even asked for the recipe. When I told them whose recipe it was, my brother remarked, “Yep, this tastes like Auntie Flo’s.”  So, if you like nice soft cookies with a hint of pumpkin flavor, try this recipe from my Auntie Flo.


Auntie Flo’s Soft Pumpkin Cookies
1 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 c. pumpkin
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. soda
½ t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 ½ t. cinnamon
½ – 1 c. chopped nuts (optional)
½ c. chopped dates (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, stir ingredients together until well-mixed, then drop on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 8-10 min (do not overbake). When cool, frost with browned butter frosting (see recipe below).

Old-Fashioned Browned Butter Frosting

6 T. butter

Heat and stir over low heat until golden brown. Then add:

2 c. sifted confectioners sugar
1 t. vanilla
Enough hot water to make it spreading consistency.

Mix well, remove from heat and let cool slightly before icing pumpkin cookies.

Our sturdy stoneware mixing bowls are hand-turned in Texas - and will last a lifetime and then some. At
Our sturdy stoneware mixing bowls are hand-turned in Texas – and will last a lifetime and then some. At
Our stainless steel  cookie sheet has a polished look that makes it a worthy serving tray as well. At
Our stainless steel
cookie sheet has a polished look that makes it a worthy serving tray as well. At

Editor’s Note: Shelley first shared this recipe in 2007. It has become a fall favorite around the Lehman’s office.

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Ginny (@ginny)
14 years ago

Those recipe books are the best ones. I have picked up many along the way and always refer to them first. One of them has no measurements to speak of, just a pinch of this, a pat of that. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love pumpkin cookies, although I will opt out of the dates and ‘shake’ in some chocolate chips!

Sarah Nussbaum
Sarah Nussbaum (@sarah-n)
14 years ago

Old recipes are to be TREASURED. I am lucky enough to have my great-grandmother’s recipe binder with recipes in her hand as well as HER mother’s. Gr-Grandma had both a sweet tooth and a love of good meatlof – there are at least a dozen different meatloaf recipes in that binder! I love reading it and trying the dishes she most likely served to my grandfather, and probably my father too, when he was a little boy. Thanks Shelley!

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