Cookies are different from biscuits primarily because they are typically sweeter and baked in a different style than biscuits. Initially, biscuits were used as a source of food for ancient sailors, who needed hardy, non-perishable staple foods to carry on long journeys. The advent of mass production technologies allowed for the development of a wider variety of biscuits, and eventually gave way to the creation of cookies.
In addition to varying in history and production method, cookies and biscuits hold different meanings in countries around the world. In the United States, for example, biscuits are considered to be small, thick round bread products. In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, biscuits are made slightly sweet and served as dessert or with tea.