Dreamy Desserts

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Dreamy Desserts

Delectable dessert recipes

dreamy desserts
We all dream of sweetness. It’s only natural. There’s plenty of evidence that our desire for sweet-tasting things is evolutionarily determined and, literally, inborn: The sweeter the milk, the more strongly newborns prefer it. So it seems we come into the world with visions of sugarplums already dancing in our heads. We may enjoy the other basic tastes, but none is as universally associated with pleasure as sweetness. Salty, sour and bitter all have negative as well as positive connotations, but the idea of sweetness is always, well, sweet.

So, while we know it’s important to limit added sugar in our diets, and while the healthiest dessert choice is always whole fruit, sometimes we just need to conclude a good meal with a lovely, indulgent dessert – preferably one that’s not a calorie-packed nutritional disaster.

Canyon Ranch chefs and nutritionists make that dream come true with scrumptious, carefully portioned creations that resoundingly satisfy a sweet tooth without ruining a day’s worth of good dietary intentions. Our dessert recipes limit added natural sweeteners to two or three teaspoons per serving, incorporate only as much fat as needed for great flavor and texture, and emphasize wholesome, nutritionally valuable ingredients such as fruit, low-fat dairy, eggs, nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate and cocoa. There’s good nutrition in each delicious bite of every Canyon Ranch dessert – we believe with all our hearts in dessert without guilt.

Coconut Macaroons

Here’s a guest favorite that showcases the natural sweetness of coconut – AND IT’S GLUTEN-FREE, TOO! Easy to make and always a winner.


 cup water
1 cup organic sugar

2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon sea salt

¾ teaspoon pure
vanilla extract

1 large egg white
4 cups unsweetened coconut flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a nonstick baking sheet with canola oil.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, honey, salt and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Stir until syrup forms, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  3. Combine egg white and coconut flakes in a large bowl. Mix well. Add syrup and mix to form a dough. Place 1 tablespoon dough (or use a 1/2-ounce scoop) about 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn pan and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes or until cookies are light brown.

Serving Information
Makes 38 macaroons, each containing approximately:

60 calories
6 gm. carbohydrate
4 gm. fat
0 mg. cholesterol
1 gm. protein
21 mg. sodium
0 gm. fiber

Apple Strudel


¼ pound apples (such as Granny Smith or Macintosh), peeled and sliced
 cup cane sugar
 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pâte Brisée:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons cane sugar
¼ cup cold unsalted butter, diced
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly coat a baking sheet with canola oil.
  2. In a large bowl, toss apples with cane sugar, cinnamon, flour and vanilla extract.
  3. To prepare pâte brisée, place flour in a medium bowl. Add salt and cane sugar and mix well. Add butter and cut into flour, using a pastry cutter, until butter is the size of small peas. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing gently after each addition. Dough will begin to form a ball when enough water has been added. Gather dough with dry hands and form into ball. Let rest for 5 minutes. Roll into an 8” by 12” rectangle. Spoon filling along the long edge of the dough, about 1 inch from the edge. Roll dough and filling over itself and seal ends to form a strudel. Score into 10 1-inch slices.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and trim any extra pastry off the ends. Cut into10 servings.

Serving Information
Makes 10 servings, each containing approximately:

170 calories
30 gm. carbohydrate
5 gm. fat
12 mg. cholesterol
2 gm. protein
48 mg. sodium
2 gm. fiber         

Vanilla Cheesecake with Tropical Fruit Compote


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons water
2 cups lowfat cream cheese, softened
½ cups plain yogurt

3 large eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¾ cup cane sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Tropical Fruit Compote:
½ cup diced fresh pineapple

½ cup diced fresh mangos
½ cup diced fresh papaya
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  1. Preheat oven to 300°. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with canola oil spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and water. Press into the bottom of springform pan to form a crust.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and yogurt using a hand-held mixer on high. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend well. Add flour, cane sugar, scraped vanilla bean and vanilla extract. Blend well and pour into crust.
  4. Take heavy aluminum foil, and wrap it around sides and bottom of your springform pan. This prevents leakage while baking your cheesecake. Place your springform pan into a larger deep baking pan that it will fit into easily. The larger pan should be at least 2-3 inches in depth. Place in preheated oven. Pour very hot water into the larger pan about halfway up, or approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until cheesecake is set. Allow to cool.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss together all ingredients for Tropical Fruit Compote until well combined.
  6. When cheesecake is cold, remove springform sides and slice into 16 portions. Serve each slice topped with 1 tablespoon Tropical Fruit Compote.

Serving Information
Makes 16 servings, each containing approximately:

180 calories   
21 gm. carbohydrate  
6 gm. fat   
21 mg. cholesterol  
8 gm. protein  
233 mg. sodium   
Trace fiber