“It was my second year of teaching and I wanted to have a recipe that could be shared during the holidays. It had to be easy since we were under our one class period time constraints. My mom suggested that I make pumpkin cookies from a recipe that Linda Greenhaw had shared with her. I called Mrs. Greenhaw and asked permission to share it with my students. I shared the recipe with approximately 150 students each year for 18 years, meaning I shared the recipe with almost 3000 students! To this day, former students contact me asking for the recipe. I keep a copy of it on my phone and in my desk drawer in case I get a request. Everyone just fell in love with the cookies! I have always said they were good enough to win a baking contest or be featured in a magazine. The cookies are such an important part of our family Thanksgiving meal each year. My family members love them and it brings back a lot of great memories teaching students how to make them!”

Mitzi McCaleb, Principal Grand Heights Early Childhood Center, is a former junior high Home Economics teacher.


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cream shortening, sugar, pumpkin, and egg
  3. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Drop by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Cook butter, milk, and brown sugar over a low heat    
  2. Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar
  3. Spread onto cookies