Cooking Class: How To Make Black Licorice (Charleston Green)

Photography by Chia Chong
Styling by Libbie Summers
Recipe adapted from Saveur
How To via Salted and Styled

Black Licorice –you love it or you hate it. 
Libbie loves it and Chia hates it. They both find beauty in the making.

Charleston Green Licorice Twists
(A dark green southern slant on traditional black licorice –we used all of our black food coloring testing this recipe…a happy accident if ever there was one.)


8 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup dark corn syrup
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
pinch of kosher salt
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ tablespoon anise extract
Green, blue, red and yellow food coloring


Line a 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a 2-quart saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer on the side, add the butter, sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, molasses and salt. Stir together and bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to cook until the temperature on the candy thermometer reaches 255º F (This is where our method and Saveur’s method differ greatly. This recipe was tested three times and each time (with three different candy thermometers) the suggested 265º F temperature by Saveur we found to be too hot –causing the licorice to become to hard and not pliable). Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, extract and enough coloring to make a dark green color. Pour into the prepared pan and chill for 30 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Turn the chilled licorice out onto a cutting board and remove parchment. Cut into 1/2-inch thick strips and twist to shape. Place on the baking sheet and chill until set (about 20 minutes)

Gather your ingredients

Stir together the butter, sugar, dark corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, salt and blackstrap molasses in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat.

Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan and allow the mixture to come to a boil.  Continue to boil until the temperature reaches 255º F.

Remove from heat and, working quickly, stir in the whole wheat flour and food coloring until well combined and perfect color is reached.

Stir in anise extract.

Pour mixture into a parchment paper lined 8-inch square baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Chill for 30 minutes.

Cut into 1/2-inch wide strips and twist!

Chill for an additional 30 minutes to set before serving.

Makes: 16
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 60 minutes
Difficulty: Medium