Burnt Sugar Confections Creates Tasty Treats

by | Mar 2024

Burnt Sugar Candies on a pink background.

Photos: Chris Emeott

Melinda Norman’s unique, handmade candies are the perfect springtime treat for a party spread.

There’s something magical about biting into a sweet treat that brings you back—even if you’ve never tasted the flavor before then. Melinda Norman of Burnt Sugar Confectionary has that Old World touch, making candy that’s nostalgic and familiar out of her Long Lake commercial kitchen since 2020.

Norman hasn’t always been a candymaker, but she has always been heading in that direction. She says, “I knew from a very young age that I’d be doing something with food.” For the most part, it’s baking that drew her in, and she grew up making cakes for her high school friends on special occasions. “I’m drawn to the sweeter side of the food world,” she says.

Melinda Norman

Melinda Norman

After culinary school and a career in restaurants and as a pastry chef, Norman decided it was time to shake things up a bit. There was an entry point in the market for confections that aren’t chocolate based. “Coming from an Italian family, we always had a lot of nougat and more European-style treats, and I’ve always had an appreciation for those,” she says. “Those Old World-style, handmade candies—there wasn’t a lot of that out there. ”

Burnt Sugar old fashioned candies

A central point of Norman’s unique style is making sweets that aren’t too sweet. “What attracts me to the old-fashioned style candies is that the sweetness is there but not so overwhelming,” she says. “I like balancing the sweetness with other flavors.” That’s where the name Burnt Sugar comes from, too. She says, “Burnt sugar adds almost bitter undertones, so you’re not just tasting sugar on sugar. I’m looking to give people a multilayered candy-eating experience.”

One of her specialties that offers this dynamic eating experience is torrone. She says, “Torrone is a honey-based candy with nuts, fruit and citrus peels. I like to work with the balance of flavors there. While you’re still getting a sweet treat, it doesn’t feel quite as sinful as eating a mass-produced candy.”

Torrone is perfect for celebratory party spreads, too. Norman gives one idea for its presentation, saying, “The torrone looks awesome on a charcuterie board. It’s got the dried fruit and nuts in there and looks really pretty.” She makes a point to acknowledge that candy on a charcuterie board might be a surprise for some and notes that hosts should label it, so guests know it’s a sweet treat.

Boxes and bags of Burnt Sugar Candies

Springtime holidays and gatherings can bring guests together over food, and Norman has the perfect treat that brings a pop of fun and sweetness to the table. “I always recommend my Strawberry Elderberry Meringues,” she says. “They’re a perfect little Easter treat because they’re really light and crispy and the perfect balance of fruity and floral with a little bit of tartness. The colors are lovely, a mix of pastel pink and cream. It just screams spring.” Her meringues are ideal for any crowd, too, because they’re gluten- and dairy-free options. “It’s great for when you have a sweet craving and you want a little something sweet,” she says. “Eating just one or two of those satisfies your sweet tooth without being overpowering.”

Find Burnt Sugar Confectionary products at burntsugarmn.com or at select markets and shops around the Twin Cities.

Facebook: Burnt Sugar
Instagram: @burntsugarmn


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This