Cookies vs Biscuits

Monday, August 16

A staple with your afternoon tea or coffee, an accompaniment to many desserts, and all-round tasty treats that can be enjoyed any time. We are of course talking about cookies and biscuits. It’s hard to draw a clear-cut distinction between these two delights as they are so often interchanged. But what exactly is the different between the two? Let’s find out!

BISCUITS

The word biscuit comes from the Latin words ‘bis’ and ‘coquere’, which translates to twice cooked. Or more commonly known now as twice baked.

Biscuits have a much firmer consistency than cookies; these treats require a harder dough to create the correct texture and hold its shape when baking. That being said, they should firm but fluffy – you don’t want dense biscuits! They are also smaller and thinner in shape.

These crumbly snacks are traditionally made with just a few ingredients: butter, flour and sugar. This makes them perfect to dip into tea or coffee as they absorb the flavour!

Photo by Mohd Aram on Unsplash
Photo by Mohd Aram on Unsplash

However, certain biscuits do contain additional ingredients. Some might contain currents, two biscuits can be sandwiched together with a jam or creamy filling (like a Custard Cream or Bourbon biscuit), or they could be decorated with icing or chocolate.

As many simple biscuits are flatter disc shapes, they make perfect canvases for decorating. Think iced Party Rings or homemade Gingerbread men at Christmas!

Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash
Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

COOKIES

The word cookie comes from the Dutch word ‘koekje’, which means little cake. Originally, These little cakes were made simply to test the temperature of the oven before baking the main cake.

The Dutch were making a lot of sense when they decided to call cookies as little cakes, as both are prepared in a similar way. Like cakes, cookies are also made from a soft, thick dough. When they are baked, cookies are larger, softer and chunkier than biscuits. They are also much denser and chewy.

Cookies contain more ingredients than biscuits, such as eggs, sugar, butter, flour, baking soda, flavouring extracts and any other filling you fancy including in your cookies. The dense batter for the cookies naturally means they take longer to bake as well.

Since they rise during baking and are more shapely and rounded, they aren’t seen to be decorated as creatively as the humble biscuit. However, as they are much more pliable and less crumbly, cookies make the perfect vessel for adding loads of ingredients like nuts, fruit, chocolate chunks and more. You can pretty much put anything in a cookie (within reason of course!) so the options of flavours are endless and can match whatever occasion.

Photo by Jordan Nix on Unsplash
Photo by Jordan Nix on Unsplash
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What exactly is the difference between them?