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How to Make Hobnobs: The Charming, Vegan-friendly Biscuits!

Ever wondered why hobnobs are named so? Maybe you're looking for alternatives to digestives? Prefer home-cooking to brands? Then this article is for you!

Hobnobs vs. digestives: What is the difference?

Do you like dunking biscuits into tea? Or maybe even a warm cup of milk? I know I sure do. But what are some good types of biscuits or brands for dunking? If you are asking yourself the same thing, then you have come to the right place.

There are many famous biscuits from the United Kingdom, however, one stands out. Hobnobs are globally-known biscuits which are both healthy and delicious. As their name implies, Hobnob biscuits are easy to digest, which makes them perfect for people who have certain medical issues, such as chronic inflammation of the small intestine, for example.

But there is certainly more to Hobnobs than just healthy benefits, right? Indeed, there is! Hobnobs are also famous for their funny-sounding names, and because they are made from oats with chocolate cream, marketed as the perfect dunking biscuits. But is that really so?

That is what I am going to try to find out today. If you are looking for a sweet and healthy type of biscuit to go along with your afternoon tea, then stick around to see if the Hobnobs fit your criteria. As with every article on the Biscuit People online magazine, I try to cover as many bits of interesting information about a certain biscuit as possible. Besides learning more about the Hobnobs and why they are such good dunking biscuits, you will also get a chance to learn about the biscuits’ history, origin, trivia etc.

It just so happens that I also wrote an article about McVitie’s: The United Kingdom’s Premier Biscuit itself. I will touch more upon the biscuits’ history, and how your soon-to-be-favourite biscuit came to be. If you would like to read the full story, be sure to check out the article.

But what is the difference between digestives and hobnobs? It is a very minor thing, actually. You see, digestives and hobnobs are quite similar. They both have very similar health benefits, and both can aid with indigestion. The difference in the two is that digestives are made with wholemeal flour and baking powder, while hobnobs are made with rolled oats and white self-raising flour. In the end, it all  comes down to taste, but both will work wonders for your digestion. Basically, when it comes to hobnob biscuits vs digestive – hobnobs = digestives.

There was one last thing I wanted to mention – we also have a newsletter service. Be sure to subscribe so as to always get notified when we release interesting, new articles. We have many technical experts who write informative articles on a daily basis, as well as articles on the latest trends in the biscuit industry, which are a part of our Biscuit People blog.

What makes the Hobnob biscuits so good?

Right, time to talk about the Hobnobs themselves! So, what is so special about this type of biscuit? What are hobnob biscuits? Well, it just so happens to be that Hobnobs are the United Kingdom’s favourite biscuit type! Even if you are not from England or other parts of the UK, chances are that you have heard about them at some point.

Hobnob oat biscuits are traditional biscuits made from rolled and jumbo oats. But are hobnob biscuits healthy? Since oats are their main ingredient, Hobnobs can also be classified as Oatmeal Cookies: Tasty and full of health benefits. It is widely known that the consumption of oats has several health benefits, so that is already a great start. But does healthy necessarily mean tasty?

Of course! It is a common misconception that healthy food must have a horrible taste. Just the contrary, in fact. Hobnobs, thanks to their chocolate and dark chocolate coating, make for sweet and tantalizing snacks. The chocolate in combination with oats really brings out the richness of both flavours, which makes them an even better biscuit type to dunk into a nice, warm cup of tea.

Besides the obvious, what else makes the Hobnobs such great dunking biscuits? Well, the most important thing when it comes to dunking is the texture. The best types of biscuits for dunking are hard biscuits. And when I say hard, I mean really hard. Take Ginger Cookies: Our Favourite Type of Cookies for Dunking! for example. If you are looking for a substitute for hobnobs biscuits, ginger biscuits are a wonderful choice.

Ginger cookies are healthy, spicy types of biscuits that are most frequently baked until they are very hard. As I joked in one of my previous articles, they are sometimes baked so much that they become hard enough to be used as lethal projectiles! Of course, that is not true because at that point they would become illegal, but you get the point.

How then, in God’s name, are you supposed to eat such types of biscuits without breaking your teeth? Simple. You dunk them into your favourite type of beverage, be it tea, coffee, or milk! The only thing that matters is that they are hard first because the liquid is going to soften them up. You do not want to dunk biscuits which are soft already, because they are just going to crumble, and you are going to end up with biscuit crumpets in your tea.

You want to find that sweet spot (literally), where the biscuits are neither hard nor too soft. It is easy to see why texture can make or break “a dunking biscuit”. But the Hobnobs do have one certain advantage over other types of biscuits. Their main ingredient.

Hubnob biscuit with oats

Picture source: By Moving Moment/Shutterstock.com

You see, oats, when rolled into biscuits, are hard enough that they stick together without crumbling. However, at the same time, they are also soft enough that you can consume them without the prior dunking into a warm beverage. Although you might have been searching for a perfect teatime biscuit, and Hobnobs sure fit the criteria, they also stand perfectly on their own.

All this talk about oats and chocolate and tea has made me want to hop to the nearest store and buy a box of Earl Grey Tea and bake some Hobnobs. Luckily for you (and me), Hobnobs are easy to make! While the biscuits’ main areas of high popularity are the English-speaking parts of the world, such as England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Australia, Canada, and the USA, Hobnobs can be found in many other European countries and Southern Africa as well.

So, there you have it. This is why the Hobnobs are considered to be some of the best dunking biscuits around. But there is more to the Hobnobs than meets the eye! Want to find out more about the biscuit’s history, etymology, and production? There are always some interesting facts connected with our favourite brand and biscuit types worth checking out.

Which ingredients are in Hobnob biscuits?

Do you like variety when it comes to your assortment of dunking biscuits? Lucky for you, there are several flavours of Hobnobs to make. The following is a list of hobnob biscuits ingredients. The several types of Hobnobs recipes are: regular Hobnobs made from rolled and jumbo oats which are the basic version of this type of biscuits, but delicious nonetheless, then there are the milk chocolate and dark chocolate versions.

While both flavours are great, dark chocolate is healthier, so it is probably more suited towards people who have medical issues or problems with digestion. If you have no issues with, for example, lactose intolerance, then you can also give the milk chocolate variant a try. Chocolate is an evergreen ingredient and a staple ingredient in many biscuits. You can also make some hob nob cream biscuits. Or hobnob sandwich biscuits.

The chocolate coatings blend really well with oats. Also, do not let the chocolate coating discourage you from dunking these biscuits into tea. The coating does not fall off, so you do not have to worry about bits of chocolate falling off into your tea. The sweet taste of chocolate combines so well with tea that it is no wonder the Hobnobs are the third most popular biscuit to dunk into tea in the UK. The hobnob chocolate biscuits really are marvellous. Be sure to check the web for some hobnobs oat biscuits recipes.

Besides the milk and dark chocolate flavours, there is also the chocolate orange flavour, which sounds great (chocolate and orange mix well together) and Hobnob bars. As I have mentioned in the paragraph above, the classic Hobnobs have been voted the third most popular biscuit to dunk into tea,

with the chocolate variant being declared as the United Kingdom’s favourite biscuit back in 2014! Do you want to know how to make hobnob biscuits? You can easily find a recipe for hobnob biscuits online.

Why are Hobnobs called so?

Of course, as with every other famous biscuit brand, the English hobnob biscuits have a history of their own. The McVitie’s company introduced the Hobnob type of biscuits in the United Kingdom back in the year 1982. That means that the biscuits will be turning forty very soon! They have been around for so long that they are allowed to drink (maybe that is what makes them such good dunking biscuits as well?).

But in all seriousness, if a biscuit has been around for almost forty years, and it is still as popular today as it was back when it was released, then that means that they must be some really good biscuits. The original recipe was launched back in the year 1982, and five years later, in 1987, McVitie’s also launched the milk chocolate variant.

The most prominent market for Hobnobs is still the United Kingdom. They can even be found in countries such as the South African Republic. What about their history though?

When it comes to British hobnob biscuits, these biscuits were first recognized by the tagline: “One nibble and you’re nobbled”. This tagline was later on removed, but has been brought back, albeit in a somewhat different form.

The new tagline features an added prefix hob-, so the new tagline goes: “One nibble and you’re hobnobbled.” It is a small change, but it really catches the consumer’s attention. When the chocolate milk variant was launched back in the year 1987, the tagline used for its release was: “Chocolate now has Hobnobs underneath”, indicating the importance of the new addition. Do not worry though, the oats are still the most important part of the Hobnobs and what make the biscuits so good for dunking.

Of course, marketing does not just stop at taglines. There have been many references to the biscuits, which you can certainly find online. One of the things that enabled so many funny references is the etymology behind the name “Hobnobs”.

You see, “hobnob” is derived from the term hob and nob (1756) which means: “to toast each other by turns, to buy alternate rounds of drinks”. Hob and nob is in itself an alteration of the phrase hab nab, which means: “to have or have not, hit or miss”. If we go even further, hab nab is an alteration of habban, nabban which means: “to take or not take” which was a way of inviting someone to drinking. In the end hobnob means: “to drink to each other”.  Another meaning of Hobnobs that the English use is to lobby in the high social class. 

But what do biscuits have to do with drinking? Well, they go well with beverages, just like Rich Tea: the most dunkable biscuit,  for starters. Afterall, they are advertised as premier dunking biscuits. The name could also refer to the fact that you can enjoy the biscuits in honour of someone, not necessarily drink something. The name Hobnobs may also imply that the biscuits, as everything else in life, are best when shared with you family and loved ones.

Are Hobnob biscuits vegan?

So, are hobnob biscuits vegan? For those of you who might be following a vegan diet, the answer is simple. Yes, some of the most popular and traditional UK biscuits are indeed vegan! Whether they are store-bought from McVitie’s or homemade. There are many vegan -friendly biscuits actually, so be sure to check out The Complete Collection of Biscuit Types to find some more biscuits to your liking. One of our recommendations are the Arrowroot Biscuits. We are sure that you can easily find a vegan, healthy hobnob biscuit recipe online.

So, are you ready to try out your new favourite dunking biscuits? Hop on to the nearest store then and buy yourself a box or two and warm up some tea! Maybe you could even bake yourself a batch or two of these types of biscuits. There are numerous recipes online which you can try out, and most require very little culinary skill. Homemade hobnob biscuits are equally as good as store-bought, if not better.

I agree that Hobnobs make for excellent dunking biscuits. Their rich flavour combined with chocolate coating and the perfect balance between hard and soft texture makes for an excellent afternoon tea experience. Not many brands are able to nail the sweet spot between their biscuits being too hard or too soft. Most go with one or the other, but the nature of oats allows to biscuits that can be enjoyed without any beverages.

That is it for today’s article. I hope you found the article interesting and learned something new in the process. Cheers!


Leading image: By Moving Moment/Shutterstock.com

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