Thursday, February 14

Ginger-y Cranberry Walnut Scones (No Elephants were Harmed for this Post)

I tried an experiment this morning. I baked a batch of heart-healthy ginger-y cranberry walnut scones and wanted to know what biologic effects they have, if any. So I fed them to my favorite elephants at the San Diego Zoo this morning, and, lo and behold, they smooched. Eat your heart out David Attenborough.

First she said, "Hey, big fella. You smell good. Watcha' wearing: Come get me? or Don't leave me?"

Then he said, "How'd you get your skin so soft? They been washing you with that Oil-of-Olay in-shower body moisturizer?"

Then they engaged in a big elephant French kiss.
Food Blogga Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in this experiment.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Since Zorra of the beautiful Kochtopf is looking for some homemade edible hearts, I'm sending her my heart-healthy scones. Made with non-fat cottage cheese and yogurt and Smart Balance butter substitute, these scones are low in fat, cholesterol, and calories. They're also filled with antioxidant-rich cranberries and walnuts, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids --the ones linked to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Like my Date, Fennel, and Pistachio Scones from last fall, they are moist and flavorful and will fill your home with the enticing aromas of tart cranberries, tangy orange zest, and spicy ginger.

These would make a great antidote to the chocolate overdosage that will occur across the world today. So eat 'em guilt-free. Your heart will love you for it.

Ginger-y Cranberry Walnut Scones
Print recipe only here.

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.

Unfortunately the scones didn't work on the gorillas. Maybe she had a headache.

You might also like:
Banana Coconut Almond Bread
Ricotta Hotcakes
Chestnut Pancakes with Pancetta, Creme Fraiche, and Cinnamon Maple Syrup

Other lovely cranberry treats I've seen:
Coconut Cranberry Muffins from Canela & Comino
Cranberry, Orange, and Chocolate Chip Muffins from Happy Home Baking
White Chocolate and Cranberry Tartlets from Palachinka
Cranberry Harvest Muffins
from Rice and Wheat

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Anonymous said...

Those scones are so festive and gorgeous! I love the heart healthy twist. What a nice change of a chocolate laden day like today. And amorous elephants!? Wow... just, wow.

Asha said...

Hahaha!! Cool pics!! Speaking of Elephants, I fried some Elephant ears at FH, no elephants were harmed either, take a peek!:D
I bet that lady Gorilla didn't look at those Scones properly,her loss! They look fabulously yummy.Love the color, so V day breakfast!! Enjoy!:)

Anonymous said...

Those are the sweetest-looking scones I've ever seen. said...

Your creativity and recipes continually amaze me! Please let us know if you should be planning a cookbook -- I'll stand in line to buy one for myself and likely a few as gifts too.

I'm awarding your blog an award if you care to stop by and pick it up. Thank you for your continued inspiration.

Alberta Postcards
Diane's Flickr photos

Anonymous said...

Delicious, cute and healthy...great combination!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

If they're good enough for the elephants, they're good enough for me! Happy heart-healthy Valentine's Day!

Anonymous said...

Happy valentine's day!

Chris said...

Thanks for the great pictorial! Its reality-blog...

Yummy looking scones, too! Happy Valentine's Day!

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

What a wonderfully weird post, Susan! Oddest of all, perhaps, is that the elephant on the left is African and the one on the right, Indian. Love conquers all--Happy Valentine's Day!

Manggy said...

Yeah, chocolate's been done! Actually, I find the deep red of berries incredibly seductive ;) (actually, I can't believe I said chocolate's been done... I think I have to apologize to it..)

Eek! Elephant soft porn!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

If that lady gorilla does not want any bring a few over here - I'll gladly take a load! They look great. I love the heart shapes!

Cris said...

What a sweet moment! Lovely! The scones are adorable.

Nic said...

Mmmm - I have a cranberry craving at the moment, lovely to see a healthy recipe on V day!

zorra said...

Wonderful "animal" post, makes me laughing and drooling. ;-)

Thank you for your participation and I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day.

Stella said...

Animals celebrate the day of love too!:D

And I just love your coookies!:)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Susan, these would make anyone's day so much better! Not only they look delicious (I love baking with ginger) but also so beautiful!
I'm a sucker for heart shaped food. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

joy-I'm so pleased you like the scones. And amorous elephants are just too sweet not to share.

asha-I will take a peak. As for the lady gorilla, she was definitely in a "mood." ;)

ann-What a sweet thing to say.

diane-Many thanks for your kind words and for the award. I'll be sure to sign the cookbook for you. :)

linda-Oh, thanks!

lydia-Here's to healthy hearts!

nicole-Happy Heart Day!

chris-It was so much fun watching them.

terryb- I know. Condeleeza Rice read the post and asked if Food Blogga would be interested in doing some diplomacy work.

Manggy-You're forgiven about the chocolate. We all have those moments.

meeta-I'll keep that in mind next time.

cris-I was just mesmerized watching them.

nic-Yup. They're tasty and good for you.

zorra-Thanks to you for the sweet idea of hosting an edible heart day!

valentina-Love was in the air!

patricia-The aroma of the ginger in my house was so lovely, I wanted to bake another batch!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Now, I'm surprised you didn't feed the elephants fennel and chocolate! It would have been interesting to see their reaction to that!

Finla said...

Hi hi loves the last picture. it made me laught out loud.
I just wanted to grab that scone and eat them.

Mishmash ! said...

Intro was funny :)
Hope u and Jeff had a beautiful V- Day :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know which photos are better, the lovely scones or the adorable animals! Thanks for the laugh this morning...just what I needed. Now, if only I had one of those scones on hand ;-)

Pixie said...

Your hearts look sweet and I love scones. Loving the animal pics too.

Ivy said...

Your scones look so good and I liked the way you put the animals into a love mood. Hope you had a wonderful V Day.

Anonymous said...

Good job on the scones. I love them with clotted cream :)

AndreaDomingas said...


Gorgeous scones! I will definetely try to make them!

Thanks for the visit at Dia de Domingas! In the future I will post my recipes for the events in English!


Karyn said...

Love the elephants!
and I can't wait to make those scones....its snowing right now, so might do it this afternoon..

Thanks so much for the recipe and the big smiles!

Mansi said...

How in the world and after how long did you capture those moments Susan!!!??? boy, that is one lovely valentine post! and I loved your healthy scones too:)

Hope you had a fabulous V-day!:)

Cakespy said...

Just like elephants remember, I will remember this recipe long enough to make and eat an entire batch! Very sweet!

Half Baked said...

Cute post! Love the heart shaped scones. Mmmmm

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I love the shape of your scones. To me scones are comforting food.

Annie said...

Great photos, perfect for the day of love.

The scones look absolutely mouth watering. I love scones and I haven't had one in years.

I used to get them at a local deli/bakery in Providence on south main street. I can't remember the name of the place. But I'll never forget the scones! Too bad they went out of business.

I should try this recipe. It's perfect for me, since I'm always looking for lower fat versions of sweet treats. I usually have to adjust the recipe, but in this case you've already done it. Thanks!

p.s. do you think fat-free ricotta would work in place of the cottage cheese. Also, I only have dried cranberries. What do you think?

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

your scones look delicious!

Anonymous said...

I just don't know what to like more the elephant story or the recipe. Very cute Susan!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

tw-Next year. ;)

happy cook-I loved it too. He was definitely not interested in me and my camera.

shn-Thanks, we did!

sam-Oh, good, it makes me happy to make people laugh.

pixie-They were sweet to make too.

ivy-I didn't want them to feel left out.;)

maryann-I do too.

andrea-Hope you try them!

cowgirrlup-Baking is the perfect pastime when it's snowing outside.

mansi-It was amazing, actually. They were in that playful mood for quite a while, so I just kept snapping away.

cakespy-Oh, I'm glad it's memorable!

half baked-They were fun to make too.

helene-They are soothing with a cup of tea.

annie-I think the ricotta would work well. Same with the dried cranberries. I would recommend soaking them in some orange juice first though--it plumps them up and adds flavor.


lore-I feel the same way!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Thanks for the shout out! These scones look mighty delicious too!!

Rachael said...

You are too funny! I am very excited about this recipe due to its low lactose content (yogurt = better than milk and certainly better than cream).

Thanks for the great recipe!! It is bookmarked to try

Lisa Johnson said...

Such a sweet and romantic post! Is elephant love like muskrat love? Hee, hee. : )

Sig said...

LOL :D Love the French kissing elephants... that is sooo cute... those must be some magic scones :D :D

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Very nice scones Susan :)
Thank you, I had great Valentines... beautiful red rose I have received still have closed petals... can't wait for her to open a little bit so I can take some nice pictures ;)

Have a wonderful weekend, Margot

Suzana said...

ohhh Susan, those heart shaped scones are so cute! I can't get over the fact that cranberries are just not available for me!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Nice elephant pictures!

Your scones look very cute! They must be delicious!



Heather said...

Awww! Those elephants and scones are so cute! Those would be perfect for brekkie (the scones, not the elephants). :)

Anonymous said...

Hey! Is that me turning my back to the camera?
You could have asked! hehe :-)
Lovely post, lovely scones...err lovely elephants too! :-)

Emily said...

Heart-shaped scones? How wonderful.
I'm so glad you could bring those two elephants together. :)
Happy belated Valentine's Day.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

gretchen noelle-You're quite welcome. They looked wonderful!

rachael-I'm lactose intolerant too, so I'm glad it helped you out.

anali-I don't know. I'll have to experiment next time. ;)

sig-I'm thinking of marketing them to zoos nationwide. ;)

margot-Waiting for the rose to bloom... how lovely.

suzana-Why aren't cranberries available?

rosa-Glad you liked them!

heather-Brekkie? I like that.

zenchef-Wow! Maybe you should talk to my husband (he's a dermatologist) about laser hair removal. ;)

emiline-They were so sweet to watch.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Well, the gorilla's loss was the elephants' gain. I'm with the elephants here. A great way to go on V-day or any day for that matter.

Annemarie said...

If elephants really don't ever forget, those elephants will be greeting you with a joyful stampede next time you're at the zoo. I do love a good scone, and would see these being great with generous lashings of butter and a nice cup of coffee.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Come visit my blog, I gave you an Award. Have a good day.

Cakelaw said...

LOL - those elephant shots are great. Also just the cutest scones I've seen.

Anonymous said...

Awww what adorable heart shaped scones! I wish I had seen this before Valentine's Day!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

aparna-Smart animals, those elephants. ;)

annemarie-Does that mean I have to bring scones every time I go now?

helene- Oh, thanks so much, I'll be right over!

cakelaw-Aw, many thanks!

hillary- There's always next year! :)

JK said...

Hi Susan,

I just made this recipe for the
3rd time, and I'm having fun playing around with it. Today I made this recipe with blueberries instead of cranberries, lemon zest instead of orange, maple sugar instead of sugar, a mix of different nuts, and 1 cup of the flour whole wheat. I wouldn't call the end result a scone, but rather a heart healthy not very sweet snack cookie. Good for breakfast on the run or whenever I need a little something to keep me going until the next meal. I wanted to note that in the recipe, I don't see where to add the berries. Thank you! I discovered your blog while looking up the difference between a frittata and a tortilla and I have very much enjoyed it ever since! Keep up the good work! Jenny

Susan from Food Blogga said...

jenny-That's wonderful! I love to play around with recipes too, and I like your choice of flavor combinations. I just added the line about the berries; thanks for letting me know! I'm so pleased you have been enjoying my blog. It's such a pleasure to meet new readers.

Anonymous said...

"zenchef-Wow! Maybe you should talk to my husband (he's a dermatologist) about laser hair removal. ;)" LOL. hilarious! maybe you should zen chef in your case laser hair removal might do you some good =P


Unknown said...

I made this recipe the other day, trying to use up the cranberries stashed in my freezer! I like how they were not too sweet and everyone I shared them with (I did a double batch) liked them as well :)

I have only made scones once before, and they were more like the muffin method... these were very dry, but i wasn't sure if I should add any more liquid. It was hard to shape into disk as it kept falling apart. Is this as they should be??

Thanks for a great recipe!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

ttfn-No, it shouldn't fall apart. In fact, they're rather easy to mold. The dough should be firm, but not too hard and dry. Perhaps a bit more liquid would have helped.