Liquorice sweets are made from real liquorice root and anise. It was used traditionally as a palatable medicine to alleviate cold and flu symptoms, but it can also be enjoyed as a sweet treat, particularly if you love the distinctive aniseed flavour. This recipe produces a tray of around 15 to 20 liquorice strings of 15 cm (6 inches) in length.
Add 250 ml (1 cup) of black treacle to a medium sized saucepan. Heat over a medium heat for five to 10 minutes, or until the treacle is thoroughly warmed. Heat gently, and do not allow it to boil or bubble.
Add 5 ml (1 tsp) each of liquorice root powder and dried anise powder to the treacle. Stir well to incorporate the powder throughout the mixture.
Add 125 ml (1/2 cup) of flour to the mixture and stir it in thoroughly. Continue adding flour, a few spoons at a time and up to 250 ml (1 cup) in total, until a thick, workable paste is formed.
Remove the dough from the pan and place on a flat surface, such as a counter or cutting board. Shape the liquorice dough into several long tubes, about 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) in thickness and 15 cm (6 inches) in length.
Roll the liquorice tubes in icing sugar and place on a baking tray to dry. Wait one to two hours for the confection to harden, and then store it in a glass jar or plastic storage bag until ready to eat.
Do not consume liquorice containing real liquorice root if you suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or if you are at risk for a stroke. It should also be avoided while pregnant or nursing.
Real liquorice root should not be consumed for longer than a month consecutively without a break in between.