Petticoat Tails

	This name maybe a corruption of the French petites 
	gatelles, little cakes, but in Annals of the Cleikum 
	Club (incorporated in Mod Dods's The Cook and Housewife's 
	Manual) 1826, it says: 'It may be so: in Scottish culinary 
	terms there are many corruptions, though we rather think the 
	name petticoat tails has its origin in the shape of the cakes, 
	which is exactly that of the bell-hoop petticoats of our 
	ancient Court ladies.' The present-day makers of these crisp 
	little biscuit-like cakes attribute them to Mary Queen of 
	Scots, c. 1560, who was said to be very fond of them.


	12 oz. (3 cups) sifted flour
	6 oz. (1/2 cup) butter
	3 heaped Tbsp. caster sugar
	1/2 gill (4 Tbs.) milk
	2 tsp. caraway seeds (these are optional, 
	  and only used in some parts of Scotland)


	Mix the caraway seeds, if you are using them, with the flour, 
	and melt the butter in the milk.

	Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the liquid, 
	then add the sugar. Mix very well, and knead a little, but 
	not too much, to get it thoroughy amalgamated. Put it on to 
	a lightly floured board and roll out to 4 in. thickness. Put 
	an inverted dinner plate on top and cut around the edges. 
	Remove the plate and cut a small round around the middle with 
	a wine glass. Keep this inner circle whole, but cut what is 
	remaining into 8 segments, not cutting right through the paste, 
	but making a deep incision. Bake on a greased paper laid on a 
	flat sheet in a moderate oven (350F.) for about 20 minutes, or 
	until crisp and golden. Cool on a wire rack, dust with caster 
	sugar, and serve with the round cake in the middle, and the 
	'petticoat tails' around it.