1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup canned pumpkin (or fresh, cooked, pureed pumpkin)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
optional: raisins, nuts, other dried fruits
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375
Cream together the sugar and shortening. Add the pumpkin. Mix dry ingredients well in seperate bowl and then add to the rest of the mixture. (I admit, I don't alway mix them in a seperate bowl, but the main thing is that you want to make sure the baking soda and powder and stuff are well distributed and don't just end up all clumped up in one cookie or something.... yuck...).
Now, here's where you can get creative. Add in your mix-ins to your liking. My last few batches have consisted of chocolate chips, dried blueberries, AND cashews or walnuts/pecans (whichever nut I had available). You can mix and match however you want! i am pretty sure my last ones were at least 1/2 mix-ins!
Once everything is well mixed, spoon into mounds on a greased cookie sheet. I usually use two spoons to help me do the job.
Bake for 10 -15 minutes, until cooked through. The time is going to vary depending on your oven, the size you made your cookies, the pan you use, etc. So, check them at 10 minutes. They should start to brown a little on the bottom and should not look doughy in the middle. I like my pumpkin cookies soft though, so DON'T OVERCOOK THEM (at least not if you are making them for me... haha. just kidding....).
TIP: If you want to have dough ready to bake at any time, make a large batch of the dough, and freeze some of it! Form the dough into a logs on pieces of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly then put in a large zip top bag and put in the freezer! When you are ready for cookies another day, pull out a log of dough, unwrap, cut into thick slices and bake! You may have to adjust the baking time since they will be frozen. Might even want to turn down the over just a little so the bottoms don't get too brown before the middle is done.