Some say 'biscuits', others say the term our American buddies prefer, which is 'cookies' and there's a fierce bone of contention over which term we should use to describe what exactly we're dunking in our tea. Well, it turns out, there's actually a reason for the two names, which do in fact accurately describe two different kinds of baked goods! Here's how it goes...
Australia as we know it is a country descendant from UK from 1788, so there's no surprise that a lot of what we know and how we speak is a spin-off of the way they do things over there. This is where the term 'biscuit' comes from and refers to any packaged or freshly baked item that is made from a stiff, sweet mixture of flour, liquid, shortening and other ingredients, shaped into small pieces before baking or sliced after baking*. They're typically a bit more petite in size to fit into the mouth of a regular tea cup to allow the best dunk. Melting moments, anyone?
However, if you're in the USA, a 'biscuit' is what Australians and the English call a scone, but it's not sweet, and you typically treat if like you would a Yorkshire pudding, covering it in gravy or sauces and meats to eat with a meal.
A 'cookie' on the other hand, as far as Aussies and people from the UK are concerned is typically larger and more soft, squishy and moist than a biscuit. Or if you look at this year's baking pan, they're monster-sized (see below).
Whereas if you're in the US, a cookie is the term essentially for anything biscuit-like baked item you can eat, other than a scone.
So, what would you like with your tea?
Source: Oxford Dictionaries blog.