Difference Between Biscuits and Cookies

Biscuits vs Cookies
 

The difference between biscuit and cookie basically depends on the usage of the terms and your location. This means the difference between biscuit and cookie can only be dealt with if we know from where we are speaking: UK or US. Biscuits and Cookies are two eatables that are often confused due to some of the similar qualities in them. In fact, they are different to a great extent. It is simple. The cookie that is eaten in the United States seems to be the biscuit in the U.K. Once you get that fact right suddenly it becomes easier to understand which is which. Let us see what each term represents.

What are Biscuits?

A biscuit is a baked, edible snack prepared out of flour. A biscuit is a small soft leavened bread in the United States. On the other hand, in England, it is a small and hard sweet and more importantly a baked one. This explains how a biscuit is known in US and UK. What British introduce as biscuits are sometimes equated to a cracker by the Americans. It is a crisp and dry baked product. The etymology of the word biscuit is interesting. In Latin, ‘bis’ means ‘twice’ and ‘coctus’ means ‘to cook’ and hence the meaning of the word biscuit would be ‘twice-cooked’. In medieval Italian, it is called by the word ‘Biscotti,’ and in modern French, it is called by the word ‘Biscuit’ as in English. As a matter of fact, in the United States, the term biscuit still refers to a softer bread product baked only once. At the same time, in Italy, the term biscuit refers to any type of hard but twice-baked edible.

Difference Between Biscuits and Cookies

American biscuit (left) and British biscuit (right)

What are Cookies?

For UK people, cookie is just another type of biscuit though a cookie is larger than what they call a biscuit. On the other hand, a cookie in the United States is a baked product that covers both British biscuit and cookie. One of the important things to know about the making of cookies in the United Kingdom is that, they are made larger than the usual cookie of the US.

Cookies can be baked on the spot and can be eaten. Shopping malls in the US and other developing countries have cookie centers, where cookies are prepared and served hot to the customers.

Biscuits vs Cookies

What is the difference between Biscuits and Cookies?

• Definition of Biscuit:

• A biscuit is a baked, edible item that is prepared out of flour.

• A biscuit is a small soft leavened bread in the United States.

• On the other hand, in England, it is a small, hard sweet and more importantly a baked one.

• Definition of Cookie:

• A cookie in UK is a type of biscuit. This is usually larger than a normal biscuit.

• A cookie in US is a small, flat baked treat.

• Baking of Biscuit in UK and US:

• What UK refers to as biscuit is a food item that is baked twice. That is why it is hard.

• What US refers to as a biscuit is baked only once. That is why it is soft.

• Connection (Biscuit):

• A biscuit in UK is a small baked product that you eat with tea or as a snack after one of your meals.

• A biscuit in US is more similar to a scone. However, no sugar is used in the dough. But, you will see that Americans eat biscuits with bacon or eggs on top for breakfast. That is because what these two countries refer to as biscuit are two different things.

• Connection (Cookie):

• What American call cookie covers both types of food items the British people introduce as biscuit and cookie.

So, now that you have gone through the difference between biscuits and cookies you must have understood that it all comes to the location. We can turn all this information to a few simple facts. What the British call a biscuit is a cookie in US. What the British call a cookie is also a cookie in US. However, what the Americans call a biscuit is more like a scone than an actual British biscuit.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. American and British biscuits via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. A variety of cookies by Fagles (CC BY-SA 2.5)