A biscuit (pron.: /ˈbɪskɨt/) is a baked, commonly flour-based food product. The term is applied to two distinct products in North America and the Commonwealth Nations and Europe.
- In the United States and Canada, it is a small, soft, leavened bread, somewhat similar to a scone, though generally softer and fluffier. Although yeast may be used as a leavening agent, it is often replaced or supplemented with baking powder or baking soda. A Southern regional variation on the term, “beaten biscuit“, is closer to the British variety.
- In Commonwealth English, it is a small and generally sweet baked product that would be called either a “cookie” or a “cracker” in the United States and a “cookie” in English-speaking Canada. Biscuits in the United Kingdom and Ireland may be savoury (savoury biscuits are often referred to as “crackers”) or sweet, such as chocolate biscuits, ginger nuts, custard creams, or the Nice biscuit. Although in Commonwealth Nations, the term “cookie” may be synonymous with “biscuit”, a cookie is generally a softer baked product.