7 Classic British Biscuits To Pair With Your Evening Tea
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The United Kingdom is known for its eccentric culinary offerings, which include the likes of haggis, spotted dick, and sausage rolls. While several of the aforementioned savoury British delicacies are an acquired taste, the country does possess universally beloved sweet treats, such as the Victoria sponge cake and the classic English trifle. British cuisine is also blessed with a plethora of decadent biscuits, including savoy biscuits and Scottish shortbread.

High tea is quite an important concept in British culture, and typical high tea spreads comprise a range of delectable foods, including sandwiches, cakes, and biscuits. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the British have innovated so many tasty and noteworthy variations of biscuits. Ranging from crispy to buttery to slightly tangy, these biscuits cater to a variety of palates, which is one of the primarily reasons why they’re such global favourites.

Take a look some of the most treasured biscuit inventions of the United Kingdom.

Sultana Cookies

Sultanas are types of raisins that find wide application in British baked goods, alongside the more commonly occurring green raisins. In addition to sultanas, these cookies are crafted from butter, milk, sugar, flour, and baking soda. They boast a delightfully crispy and chewy texture, making them perfect to dunk in a cup of piping hot tea.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Despite being invented by American chef Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1938, chocolate chip cookies have become enmeshed in the culinary culture of the United Kingdom, featuring extensively in British high tea spreads. Most classic chocolate chip recipes incorporate ingredients, such as flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and baking soda. Some cookies also comprise nuts for added crunch.

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Scottish Shortbread

As the name suggests, these mouthwatering cookies originate from the hale and hearty Scottish highlands. A source of great national pride for the Scots, these biscuits are made from basic ingredients like sugar, butter, flour; some recipes also incorporate vanilla for an added layer of sweetness. A perfect combination of crispy and flaky, these biscuits are sure to elevate the high tea experience.

Savoy Biscuits

Known for their distinctive, finger-like shape, savoy biscuits were all the rage in the 19th century. Although their popularity has waned over the years, these biscuits still feature quite heavily in traditional British high tea spreads. Cherished for their spongy, crumbly, and subtly sweet flavour, these biscuits usually pair well with several different types of tea, which speaks to their versatility.

Cornish Fairings

Hailing from Cornwall, Cornish fairings are infused with spices, such as ginger and cinnamon, which sets them apart from other traditional British biscuits. These biscuits also incorporate simple ingredients like sugar, flour, butter, and syrup. Identified by their dark brown hue as well as round shape, it’s speculated that these flavour-packed baked goods were originally exchanged as presents in ancient British society.

Image Credits: By Foodista - originally posted to Flickr as Photo of Cornish Fairings (spiced Biscuits), CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

Grasmere Gingerbread

A quintessential English biscuit, this delicacy is widely considered as more of cake than a traditional biscuit. Renowned for their slender appearance and chewy texture which produces melt-in-the-mouth sensations, these biscuits have roots in the year 1854 in the picturesque Lake District region of England. Boasting enthralling sweet-spicy flavours, the aromatic biscuits are popularly considered the most premium quality of gingerbread.

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Jaffa Cakes

Although technically recognised as a cake, many people consider Jaffa cakes as biscuits owing to their thin appearance and crispy texture. These appetising sweet treats are infused with sponge, orange-flavoured jam, and chocolate, making them highly succulent. British locals typically savour these baked goods as a light evening snack or a quick pick-me-up between meals.