Biscuits here. Biscuits there. Biscuits everywhere. Paper adverts, TV adverts, Internet adverts, radio adverts, in the store and more. You will always encounter a crunchy temptation somewhere.
But if you get a sudden sweet tooth, nibbly desire or require elevensies then what should you buy? Take a risk with something brand new or an own brand product? Get the same as you always get because it is quick and easy? Walking into a store with biscuits on your mind can be a bit overwhelming.
So fear not if you are a Sainsburys Local shopper I am here to bring you some much needed insight into the biscuits available. Is the own brand better than the big brand? Are they worth being less money? Can you make them into a dessert (such as a cheesecake or muddled with ice cream)? How do they actually taste and perform whilst being eaten?
Hopefully the following will give you a little insight so next time you dash into a store you know what to avoid and what to buy! Overall rating, price, weight and where to find them are all listed at the end of each biscuit so if you are in a rush just scroll down to find the results.
Dark Chocolate Chip Digestives
This biscuit strikes as a rather confused item. Picked up during National Choc Chip Week it seemed a fitting tribute without running the risk of getting crumbs everywhere.
Whilst a slightly mysterious item to me it completely made sense and I was looking forward to giving it a try. It struck as a healthier alternative to a fully coated digestive but a little less boring than a plain one. I was won over to the concept.
Removing it from the packet caused a few breakages. After tearing around the red tag the ones in the lid of the packet were all broken straight in half. The rest seemed to have avoided such a fate. A packaging flaw perhaps?
But looking at it and holding it in my hand I felt the product become even more confused than its original billing. It struck me more as a rich tea biscuit with some chocolate chips thrown in than a digestive. Each side had a glossy coating and it seemed to lack that crumbly feel that is so common with a digestive.
Biting in it felt very compact and gave a real snap. Leaving it in my mouth for a moment I found it did not start to melt away. It even tasted more like a rich tea biscuit commonly does than a digestive and the chocolate was barely noticable at all.
In my head I had been imagining a crumbly digestive that melts in the mouth with the occasional pop of chocolate but there was no melting and there was no pop. But that did not stop them from being tasty and me wanting to nibble on a few more.
They also seemed to lack the heavy feel on the stomach that a digestive tends to. This did mean if you were wanting something to keep you going until your next meal these might not be the best option as they felt rather empty.
Tasty enough but I would not recommend them. They were not unpleasing to taste but they were not what I expected. If they were branded as being a chocolate chip rich tea they would get an extra point or two from me. They just seemed like a very confused thing that had been created through desperation rather than through love.
I would use them to make an ice cream sandwich though. There texture lends itself perfectly to that or them being broken up and microwaved for a moment before being mixed through some ice cream. They are not textured enough to crumble down to make a good cheesecake base but they could certainly be a good replacement for some biscuits in a recipe.
Average Amount Included: 36
Regular Price: 80p
So many people are nervous of the most basic or cheap range when it comes to food in stores. For some things there is a noticable difference but in others there is only the slightest change between top brand and bargain basement basics.
But with a digestive I can understand the fear. Will it be able to handle a dunk in a hot drink the same or will it end up crumbling everywhere instead? Is it structurally sound enough to take a bite without crumbs going just about everywhere? And of course does it have that distinctive digestive taste?
These digestives fall in the middle of the road. They are a little crumbly and do make the dipping a little risky, but then who does not love the challenge of timing it perfectly, but the flavour is just as good as any other higher priced digestive. So it depends what you intend to do with them as to how suotable they are for you. If you are a big and long dipper then probably best to hold back from these unless you like them in the bottom of your mug but if you are looking for something to go alongside the drink then go for it.
These are super ideal for a cheesecake base, because of them being that little bit extra crumbly than some other brands or levels of ‘quality’. They could also be broken up and used in rocky road without them falling apart too much but without it causing too much hassle to crunch them up.
If you are desperate for a cheap dunk you might want to try out an own brand Rich Tea instead as they have flavour as well as a long dunking time.
Digestives are great for using in place of cheese crackers as well as the flavours work really well with not only a variety of cheddars but also cheeses like Wensleydale, especially if it has fruit in, making them great for a sweet or savoury occasion and nibble.
Average Amount Included: 32
Regular Price: 40p
Milk Chocolate Digestives
Unlike the dark chocolate chip digestives you know where you stand with a properly coated digestive. You know to expect enough chocolate to taste and to even be able to nibble off seperately to the biscuit if you really wanted to.
But for me the chocolate can make dunking them into a hot drink a bit of a risk as it can melt a little and either end up flavouring the drink, which depending on what it is can be okay, or making them a bit of a mess to eat causing chocolate to get all around your chops.
These, and a lot of chocolate coated digestives, are more tightly compacted than a regular digestive and that does mean if you want to give it a dunk the biscuit part is much less likely to fall apart on you so as long as you are not a messy eater then these could be a great alternative to the previously mentioned dodgy dunkers.
Unlike a regular digestive though they have a different taste to them and are a lot less strong on the wheaty flavours and are more obviously sweet. Even with the chocolate added however the sweetness is not overwhelming and instead they work well together to provide a good sweet but savoury (sort of) combination.
These obviously do not work with cheese or pate but can still be used in a variety of desserts. If you feel your rocky road is never chocolatey enough then this is a great way to add an extra element of chocolate or if your cheesecake has flavours that would benefit with the odd bit of chocolate they would be a good base.
Average Amount Included: 24
Regular Price: 80p
Highland Shortbread Fingers
To me a piece of shortbread is just like a digestive is to others; An absolute statement in the biscuit box or barrel. If I want to consume a fairly plain and simplistic biscuit with a distinctive flavour then I am much more interested in shortbread than I am a digestive.
Partly this is about the texture of shortbread. The crunch that it has when you bite into a piece whilst it has that slightly soft, but not soggy, nature. Being able to take a bit and it melting in your mouth a little. The whole experience of eating a piece of shortbread is a fairly enjoyable one in my memories.
But shortbread is expensive, jam packed with bad things and you barely get anything in a pack for the amount of money and there is only so much you can skimp on the ingredients to make it still be a decent piece of shortbread.
And because of the expense and in some ways luxury of these in comparision to a lot of other biscuits it seems a bit of a waste to put them into a dessert or something else. Sure they would work so fantastically in a cheesecake but unless you are really looking to impress somebody that is such a waste of such a quality biscuit.
You can quite easily use a shortbread finger instead of a spoon for something like a chocolate mousse to give the mousse an extra texture and bring the two things together in harmony rather than one taking over the other. But again depending on the mousse you might not want to add the richness of a bit of shortbread into the occassion.
As for dunking it seems an expensive and risky habit from my experience. You can give it a dunk perfectly okay if it is completely uneaten or broken but the minute the soft and more gentle inside is exposed this type of biscuit has the ability to suck up your drink quicker than you can do anything about it.
Average Amount Included: 10
Regular Price: 80p
Alright. I know before you say it that a cookie is perhaps a completely different world to a biscuit but hear me out. They are dunking it into a cup on the packaging and if it is meant for that then to mean it leans rather towards biscuit.
I am an absolute sucker for anything peanut. So much so that I ignore my peanut allergy most of the time, eat something containing peanuts and wonder why I do not feel too great afterwards. But if it has peanut in then I am interested so when I spotted these on the very top shelf of the biscuit aisle I knew I had to have them.
And these bad boys are packed with peanuts. In this case they seem to be glazed in melted sugar making the whole cookie a little sweeter than you might have initially expected. Despite the peanut flavour somewhat being tamed by the overwhelming sweetness it was able to show through as a long lasting and lingering aftertaste.
Would I dunk it in a hot drink? Probably not. The texture of the cookie itself is very light, airy and almost brittle. The biscuit has a good snap but not one of strength or suggestion of being able to withstand a good dunk. If you are brave enough to give it a go it would be a good way to combine your breaktime biscuit and brew without having to add sugar to the drink.
They are very tempting for going back to have another one but only for the first two or three before the sweetness overpowers you too much. These really are next level in tasting super sweet in comparision to most biscuits and cookies.
Whilst there are many things I cannot imagine these working as I think they could work put into a variety of desserts. I would avoid using them as a cheesecake base but they could be put into the cheesecake mixture itself to add a little texture and added flavour. You really only need a small part of these to make up the dessert and to add a little sweetness to something that otherwise might not be.
I would recommend but I am aware of the price making them not seem so brilliant per cookie but at the same time you need less of them to satisfy that sweet tooth craving. If you like peanuts you have to give them a try.
Average Amount Included: 12
Regular Price: 90p
Almost everybody has heard of the bourbon biscuit. Two layers of chocolatey biscuit being held together by a chocolate cream. Ask people whether they prefer a bourbon or a structurally similar custard cream and the debate can rage on for days (as my partner found out at his workplace recently).
It is not a bourbon cream without the stamp. Whether they be a big brand or the cheapest of biscuits they always have that stamp.
These are sturdy biscuits and on opening the packet you are very unlikely to find anything more than a snapped corner of the biscuit hanging on for dear life.
As for the taste of these biscuits it is subtle. The chocolate is there and when compared to a more plain biscuit very obvious but it is nothing to blow your taste sensations off. They are very obviously sweet to the taste and that is extra noticable if you taste some of the cream alone. If I did these as part of a blind taste test I really do not think I would know it was chocolate flavoured although the shape and layering would make it obvious it was a bourbon.
They have a good crunch to them though and have the ability to withstand a good dunk into a cup of hot drink making them great for a snack (and to help provide you with a short term energy boost).
To me they feel quite heavy and after a couple I can tell I have eaten them and my stomach waves the white flags to say please no more.
They are one of the cheaper types of biscuit available and they are tasty without being overpowering. Being able to dunk safely is a massive point in their favour but they do have a lot of sugar in and can be a bit too heavy on the stomach.
Because of the cream in the middle the versatility of the bourbon is somewhat restricted but it could be used as an emergency replacement to a wafer for some ice cream or crushed up as a crumb over ice cream. Unless you remove the cream it would struggle to work as a base for a cheesecake.
Average Amount Included: 14
Regular Price: 45p
Firstly, we need to discuss how my partner thinks they have actual custard in the middle. Can you imagine if they did. They would have such a short shelf life for a biscuit and the risk of the biscuits themselves going soggy is far too high.
But also why do custard creams always have such intricate pattern work on them? Imagine how much cheaper a plain covered custard cream could be (alright after the stamp has been made etc it makes no real difference to the price or the cost of the process but still). I am not complaining about the patterning as it somehow helps to make them look a little bit more fancy. Custard cream and fancy in the same sentence? Ludicrious I know.
The biscuit itself is sweet and much like a bourbon in the crunch, dunking power that it has and the subtlety of flavour too. But unlike the bourbon the flavour, despite initially seeming to just be a whack of sugar, does remain for longer.
But the thing is custard creams go with very little. They do not have much of a purpose other than to be a biscuit. No doubt they are proud at championing being a biscuit for a biscuits sake but it does make them a bit more of a challenge to work into something else if you get a little bored of chomping on the sweet things alone.
Average Amount Included: 16
Regular Price: 45p
The malted milk biscuit is surprisingly well loved amongst many of my partners work colleagues. It has always been the sort of biscuit that I have associated the love or hate mentality with but as I myself do not care for them either way I knew it was not as clear cut as that.
These biscuits, as far as malted milk go, are rather lack lustre. Instead of having that partially sour milk aftertaste these had the mildest of tastes and did not make your mouth curl up at the aftertaste.
So many biscuits seem to be stamped. They are so different from each other kind that it really confuses me at the amount of effort, time and money put into biscuits stamps. But as far as biscuit stamps go these are some of the better ones as they remind nibblers, if you could ever actually forget in the first place, that the malted milk biscuit is only possible thanks to the cows used to produce the milk.
But I understand why people like these biscuits. Especially if they are in a work environment where they get a dedicated break to dunk something into a brew. Particularly if you like your drink with milk and there is not a huge amount of milk in the office fridge. It makes that tiny splash seem a lot better.
These also have a great crunch and lasting time for being dunked and do make them a real great choice to go alongside a cuppa. However there other purposes are quite limited. Using them in something like a cheesecake runs the risk of making the whole thing taste a little sour and off.
Average Amount Included: N/A
Regular Price: 40p
I have always been curious about the garibaldi biscuit. Perhaps once in my distant past I sampled one and then simply forgot and moved on. But looking at the image I was reminded of a fruit shortcake biscuit and noticed how they were avoiding giving it an actual dunk.
I imagine you could dunk a garibaldi. Just not for long. There are lots of holes on the outside that could quite easily result in the hot drink getting in and causing structural issues.
You have to pull these biscuits apart when you open them which in some ways means you can track how many you eat a lot easier by only breaking off the number you want. I cannot help but feel that it is a little lazy on the part of the biscuit makers to have a machine that splits them apart but perhaps the ‘theatre’ adds something to the garibaldi.
And boy do they need all the help they can get. These are just dry, chewy and really rather plain, despite the raisins within, and are in no way an enjoyable eat. A plain digestive has more interest, depth of flavour and satisfaction than one of these. Seriously. Now I know why I never hear of somebody wanting one, buying one or using one. Who buys these and why? I wish I could understand it.
Perhaps they are brought to life if you make them into something. I was so determined to find a purpose for them I did a little search online and nothing other than a discussion about having them at Easter came up. Just have a hot cross bun at Easter. Even the worst ones are far better than a garibaldi.
Can you tell I am far from impressed? Especially for 90p for a pack of 20. Could get so many crackers for cheese with that 90p.
Average Amount Included: 20
Regular Price: 90p
Let us just stop for a second. If you have ever had a fig roll then you know they are soft cased, especially where they are cut, so dunking it in a hot drink involves careful thought and counting. I am not saying do not but you need to approach with caution and let the drink cool a little first. And it probably needs to be coffee or a very full-bodied tea to get the flavours of the biscuit and drink to work together.
Now I love a fig biscuit. They do not have the crunch or depth of texture of most biscuits but what they lack with that they make up for in flavour. Of course if you do not like fig then these are not for you but otherwise they are brilliant. The sweetness comes from the fig filling, as well as a sort of tangyness, and the coating is slightly plainer to help balance it out.
Growing up I always used to think of fig rolls as a very grown up biscuit and I am not saying I am that grown up person, in any way at all, but as I have got older I have learnt to appreciate the fig roll a little more. What you can do with them though is a tough one. Anything with a filling is a bit more difficult to work with and they are good enough to stand alone. Perhaps putting them with some rum and raisin ice cream but even that is a bit of a push.
Average Amount Included: 11
Regular Price: 45p
So for the big question: What is YOUR favourite biscuit? And do you have a brand preference?