The difference between a cookie and a biscuit is in the baking. The word "biscuit" comes from Latin, bis ("twice") + coctus, past participle of coquere, "to cook." Twice-baked biscotti tend to be hard and dry, but they keep forever, whereas cookies (coming from the Dutch koekje, or "little cake") are baked once, and are meant to be somewhat more soft and moist on the inside. These are best eaten within a few days--or hours, depending on your ability to resist temptation--or they will dry out and become stale. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am an absolute cookie monster: I have never met the cookie I wouldn't try, and only rarely met the cookie I wouldn't devour (or want to devour) ten of in a sitting. I particularly enjoy those filled with chocolate, oats, peanut butter, or a combination of all three. My devotion to the cookie is only ever broken at Christmas time, when the homemade biscotti from my mother's kitchen take over in my esteem--though there are always plenty of cookies around, as well!
So, I have a confession to make: since I have been in England, I have fallen in love with Sainsbury's Milk Chocolate Digestive Biscuits.I don't know when or how it happened; at first it was a casual romance, a temporary tryst, a fling...but then I started spending more and more time with them, and we got to know and appreciate each other, and now I just adore them! For about 28p I get a sleeve of twenty or so delectable shortbreads, dipped on one side in just the right amount of chocolate, which falls in waffle-like ripples across the back of the golden rounds. They are crunchy without being hard, sweet without being too sweet, and completely satisfying--I have rarely wanted more than two or three at a sitting. They go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee, as a quick dessert, or even as an appetizer when I come back from rowing ravenous and they are the only comestibles to hand. They are a staple in my cupboard: I can be out of eggs, milk, and bread for days, but when I run out of digestive biscuits, it's time to go food shopping.
Though I will always remain faithful to my first love, the cookie, Sainsbury's Milk Chocolate Digestive Biscuits are an important part of my life here in England. They fulfill me, they make me happy, and they have firmly fixed themselves in my heart...and possibly, on my hips.