Ginger-y Cranberry Walnut Scones

Susan from Food Blogga 

1/4 cup non-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon non-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons Smart Balance, chilled (butter substitute)
2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (Do not defrost is using frozen berries; it will help prevent them from "bleeding" color.)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts, pecans, or pistachios

Optional egg wash for top of scones:
1 egg (or white only), lightly beaten OR 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon low-fat milk, lightly beaten

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To toast the walnuts, add to a dry skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until aromatic and lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk cottage cheese, yogurt, orange zest, ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon; set aside.

In another bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add chilled butter (in small pieces), and mix with a pastry blender or fork, until a coarse meal forms with tiny pea-sized butter pieces. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and, using a fork, mix until just combined. Stir in the berries and nuts. Do not over mix or the dough will become leaden.

Using a floured surface, shape the dough into a disk, about 1/2-inch thick. If desired, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to form scones. Otherwise, with a wet knife (to make slicing easier) cut the dough into 8 triangular shaped scones. Place scones on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet leaving about 2 inches between them.

If using, then brush egg wash over the tops of the scones before baking. It will create a shinier finish, and slightly softer crust. Otherwise, place in oven.

Bake scones for about 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.