Recipe Review

I Tried the Controversial Chocolate Feta Cookies — Here’s What I Thought

published Mar 17, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Chocolate feta cookies with a glass of milk.
Credit: Justine Lee

I personally identify as a cookie recipe window-shopper. That means I read a recipe or watch a Reel or TikTok for a cookie that I would probably like, but on the whole I rarely make it. When I saw this Reel from Carolina Gelen, I could have easily brushed the cookies featured aside as a really good-looking batch of rocky road cookies had I not paid attention to just what Carolina confidently exclaimed she was about to add in: feta cheese! Based on the comments on her post, I could see people were clearly … not having it (to quote a few comments: “Straight to jail,” “I’m gonna knock it and not try it,””NOPE”), and yet my mind still rushed with contemplations about everything this cookie could be. Here’s what happened when I actually made these cookies for myself. 

How to Make Chocolate Feta Cookies

With a name like chocolate feta cookies and that much visual appeal, you would think this recipe involves the precision of an electric mixer. But when you remember this is the brainchild of Carolina Gelen, the internet queen of cool, breezy cooking, you know to reach for a mixing bowl and a spatula. Start by melting butter and continue to cook until it browns into a nice amber color. In a bowl, sift in cocoa powder and add in dark chocolate that’s been chopped into pieces. Pour the melted butter over the chocolate mixture and combine until smooth. Add in brown sugar, white sugar, vinegar (Carolina says any kind is fine — I used red wine vinegar), and either full-fat yogurt or sour cream. Combine before adding one egg and mixing once more. Add flour, baking soda, and baking powder into the wet mixture. Fold with a spatula until no streaks of flour remain. 

Now for the piece de resistance: the feta! Split one block of feta in half, run one half through your fingers to form small crumbles, and drop it right on top of the cookie dough. Repeat with the remaining half block of feta. Mix the cookie dough and feta until incorporated. 

Cover and let the dough chill in the refrigerator for two hours. Then on a lined baking sheet, scoop out three-tablespoon-sized dough drops, making sure not to flatten any drop. Bake at 375°F for 12 to 14 minutes. Once baked, let the cookies come to room temperature before serving. 

Credit: Justine Lee

My Honest Review of Chocolate Feta Cookies 

Like I said, it’s not often that I decide to make a cookie recipe — and I’m so glad I seized this opportunity. These chocolate feta cookies are impressive enough to be sold at a tiny, art-adorned indie coffee shop or as the sole dessert at a swanky wine bar. The chocolate packed a punch but made enough room for the tart flavor of red wine vinegar to rush in. The acidity from the yogurt helped to activate the baking soda, which helped the cookies stay tall, fluffy, and insanely moist. 

As for the feta cheese? Its addition helped the cookies oscillate between sweet and salty, and because the feta softens and caramelizes in the oven, it’s pretty delightful even if you do catch a few bigger crumbles here and there. 

There are the classic food combinations, and then there are the ones we often take for granted. From chocolate cheesecake to tiramisu, the marriage of chocolate and cheese is one that we know and love, even if we don’t care to admit it. To anyone who was inundated with apprehension when they first saw Carolina’s Reel, I’m here to tell you don’t yuck on her yum until you actually try it. This recipe is also for you if you love a miso-spiked thumbprint, a potato chip sugar cookie, a tangy ricotta cookie, or simply any type of cookie that strikes the ideal balance of savory and sweet. When I first tried it, I took some almond milk to help swirl away the nubs of chocolate stuck in my teeth but the dessert could be an equally good match for a dry martini as a little post-workday treat.

Credit: Justine Lee

If You’re Making Chocolate Feta Cookies, a Few Tips 

  • Drain your feta. Feta cheese comes in different forms; if what you find comes in a tub where it’s submerged in brine, give it a pat with a paper towel or cloth. The few drops that go in are fine. Any excess moisture, though, will cause too much gluten formation resulting in tough cookies.
  • Your feta crumbles don’t all have to be even. As long as they’re around the same size, you’re good. 
  • A cookie scoop is key. A three-tablespoon-size cookie scoop is the useful tool that helps the recipe live its best life as a smooth-domed cookie with a crispy crust and chewy texture. Once you scoop, really make a concerted effort to keep the mounds as big and round as you can until they get thrown in the oven.