Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place sheets of foil on the countertop. Combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add the egg and beat just until blended. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Add this mixture to the creamed mixture at low speed. Mix until just blended. Pinch off pieces of dough the size of walnuts. Form into rounds. Place them on a baking sheet about three inches apart. Flatten to about 1/3-inch thick. Form into pumpkin shape by hand, making indentations on top of the round. Pinch off a very small piece of dough and roll to form a small stem for the pumpkin. Attach to the top of the cookie. Score the dough with vertical lines with a small, sharp knife to resemble a pumpkin. Repeat until all the dough is used. Bake one baking sheet at a time for seven to eight minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool on baking sheet for two minutes, and then transfer the cookies with a spatula to the foil to cool completely.
Makes 3 dozen
FOR THE ICING:
· 1 cup (6-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
· 2 tablespoons butter-flavored vegetable shortening
Combine the chips and shortening in a bowl. Microwave on medium for about one minute. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Place the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a small writing tip. Pipe lines and jack o' lantern faces on the cookies. Pumpkin cookies are made the same way, except, only lines and not jack o' lantern faces are piped on top of the cookies.