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Biscuit vs. Cookie

The biscuit/cookie debate is one I feel extremely passionate about, but one which has been ignored by our governments, leaders, and dictionary writers for far too long. 

So here I am, the voice of a generation, bringing it to your attention. 

FYI, this entire post is going to cause a lot of confusion, akin to whole chips/crisps/fries debacle. But just go with it.

Biscuit or Cookie?

In American English, a cookie is a baked food that is typically small, flat and sweet. It usually contains flour, sugar and some type of oil or fat. 

In the UK, this typically small, flat and round baked good is given the correct name of biscuit. However, in British English, the definition of this delicious snack falls into two refined categories.

Biscuit or Cookie?

A biscuit is specifically something which can (and should) be dipped in tea. 

A cookie however, is something which cannot be dipped in tea. It can be enjoyed alongside a cup of tea, but never dipped. They are often filled with chocolate chips, M&Ms, raisins, cranberries. They are best enjoyed warm and gooey, just outta the oven and  have a more spongy consistency than the denser biscuit.

However, the primary difference is that cookies are too big to be dipped in tea. Unless of course you are drinking from one of those giant free Sports Direct mugs. But you should still, never, never, dip a cookie.

Biscuit or Scone?

So now I’ve got American’s claiming that I’m utterly wrong and a biscuit is something you have with gravy. NO. NO. NO. 

American biscuits are basically British savory scones. They are both typically round, soft, thick and more like a type of bread. But they are enjoyed in VERY different ways on either side of the pond. 

British scones are something to enjoy when you wanna feel a bit fancy. I can’t tell you what it is, but there is something that screams posh and 19th Century aristocracy about enjoying a scone.

British Scone
Cream Tea > Biscuits and Gravy

Scones are enjoyed as part of a Cream Tea, which is simply a bottomless pot of tea and a scone. This ritual will usually take place in a cute tea room with your gran or friends on a Sunday afternoon. Before digging in, you must slice the scone in half, (lengthways), and then cover each half in copious amounts of jam (raspberry is my personal favourite) and clotted cream, preferably from Cornwall or Devon. Although be warned, Brits will judge you over whether you think jam or cream should go first. 

American biscuits are typically smaller, and often not as sweet as the normal British scone. They are often enjoyed with breakfast, with jam/jelly or with “gravy” – a thick white sauce with bits of bacon. (So not this kind of stuff you would enjoy with a nice Sunday Roast).  

 Damn you Americans for butchering our refined British traditions.

Scone or weird triangle thing?

So now, eyes are being rolled at me – “scones are not round,  they are triangles.” 

Oh, how very wrong you are. 

Words cannot describe the horror I feel when I walk into Starbucks and see these crumbly triangle cake things described as scones. WHERE IS THE CREAM AND JAM??

Biscuit, cookie or scone?

Things clearly went down hill when America decided to rebel. Although I don’t think any Brit would want to be associated with people who think scones are triangles and ignore the intricate difference between cookies and biscuits – it’s yet another simplification of the Original English Language. 

In conclusion: Oreos are biscuits, not cookies.


So where do you stand on this debate?? Share in the comments below or check out some more Britain vs. America


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