Makes 20 pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter,
plus extra for greasing the pan
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons molasses
(use blackstrap for the strongest flavor)
Pinch of kosher salt
6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon black food coloring gel
3/4 tablespoon anise extract
(use 1 tablespoon for a stronger flavor)
 Line a 9 x by 5 x by 3-inch bread loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving excess to form handles for easy removal. Grease the parchment paper with extra butter.
 Clip a (calibrated) candy thermometer to the side of a heavy 2-quart saucepan, being sure that the gauge is not resting directly on the bottom of the pan.
 Add the butter, sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, molasses, and salt. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a gentle boil. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent scorching in the corners.
 Once the mixture reaches 240° F, remove it from the heat, and immediately stir in the flour and black food gel. Once they’re fully incorporated, stir in the anise extract.
 Pour the mixture into the buttered loaf pan and let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan, and either dice it into squares or slice it into ropes and twist.