Preparation info

  • Makes

    1–1Β½ dozen

    petticoat tails
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

A small proportion of rice flour is used along with the flour to give the shortbread a crisp sandy texture. The amount used varies according to personal taste.


  • 100 g/4 oz plain flour
  • 50 g/2 oz rice flour
  • 100 g/4 oz butter
  • 50 g/2 oz castor sugar


    Sift the flour and rice flour on to a clean pastry board. Cream the butter and sugar and add to the flour mixture. Using the fingers work the blended butter into the flour. At first the mixture will become crumbly, but continue rubbing in until the mixture forms a shortbread dough. Roll the dough out or press into a mould – see below.

    Set the shortbread in the centre of a very moderate oven (160Β°C., 325Β°F., Gas Mark 3) and bake fingers and petticoat tails for 25–30 minutes and the moulded shortbread for 45–50 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight tin so that the shortbread remains crisp.

    To make shortbread fingers Roll the shortbread out to a long strip about 0.5 cm (ΒΌ in) thick. Crimp the edges with floured fingers and prick the surface all over with a fork. Cut into fingers with a knife and place on a buttered baking tray.