Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine with electric mixer the butter, brown sugar and orange zest. Add the pumpkin, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix.
Gradually add the flour and spices. Mix with your hands to create a soft dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Divide dough into two pieces. Roll out each piece to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into pumpkin shapes with cookie cutters.
Place on ungreased baking sheet and securely insert a wooden stick into the bottom half of each pumpkin cookie.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Decorate with favorite frosting.