Chocolate chip cookies, butter biscuits, peanut butter cookies, ginger biscuits… lovely, make-me-happy, bite size little treats. It’s one of those things I will look up every chance I get. When I’m at the store and in the mood for something but not sure what, go to the biscuit aisle… or is that cookie aisle?
There are times when I am unoccupied and quietly sitting and thinking about the meaning of life and how the world works, when random thoughts and curiosities pop into my head. One of those curiosities was, is there a difference between a biscuit and a cookie. At the time, I decided on the spot that there isn’t actually a difference though I will differentiate them myself for my own amusement and to seem clever to those who don’t actually care what they are called as long as they taste great.
So, according to Yumnaah’s Dictionary, the difference between a cookie and a biscuit became as follows:
Cookie: soft, chewy, with chunks of something yummy in the dough. Dough is dropped from a spoon onto baking sheet.
Biscuit: hard, flat, snappy, sweetness that can be flavoured according to taste. Can, if desired, add chunks of yumminess if in the mood. Dough is rolled out and shapes are cut out.
This made perfect sense to me and, surprisingly, to everyone else I shared this with.
I became more curious, however, wondering if and what others thought about the difference between a cookie and biscuit. As usual, I delved into the wonderful world of the internet and it turns out that there are actual official definitions and differences between a cookie and a biscuit. For a moment, I worried that I was wrong and everyone I had told would realize that I am actually a complete nitwit and lied to them. Then I realised, those I told wouldn’t have bothered to Google what I had told them, so I was safe.
From various sources I found out quite a bit, from its Etymology (study of the origin of words) to its differences in the UK compared to in the US including the origin of these differences (Americans took wanting their independence WAY to serious). Taking all that I learned I was able to summarise it all below:
Biscuit – British
Cookie – American
|Hard, dry snacks that snap and crunchSome have fillings in between the biscuits
|Bigger, rounder and slightly softerFillings are broken up and added to pastry before baking|
|Biscuit – American|
|Defined as a small leavened bread (like a scone)|
In conclusion, all the sources I’ve found proved that (phew) I was correct in my original unresearched distinction between a biscuit and a cookie – although, I sometimes like adding a filling to my butter biscuits (think cherry and almond slivers).
Most people don’t usually worry with what these little confectionaries are called. For me, it matters. If you say biscuit I will expect something hard and snappy. If you say cookie, I am going to want to sink my teeth into something a little chunkier and chewy. My mouth, after all, needs to be prepared for these kinds of things.
Ask.com, n.d., What Is the Difference between a Biscuit and a Cookie?, viewed on 30 April 2014, from www.ask.com/question/what-is-the-difference-between-a-biscuit-and-a-cookie
Yahoo! Answers, n.d., What Is the Difference between a Biscuit and a Cookie, viewed on 30 April 2014, from www.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061118040745AAmprqh
RANG Speak Your Mind, 2011, Cookie vs Biscuit – The American-British Divide, viewed on 30 April 2014, from www.rangspeakyourmind.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/cookie-vs-biscuit-the-american-british-divide/
Featured image: Riou, n.d., Biscuits, viewed on 30 April 2014, from http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/biscuits-royalty-free-image/169902729#
Image 1: Ferro, T., n.d., Chocolate Chip Cookies, viewed on 30 April 2014, from http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/chocolate-chip-cookies-royalty-free-image/476490563#
Image 2: Robertson, L., n.d., Biscuits, viewed on 30 April 2014, from http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/biscuits-royalty-free-image/169350029#