Most people don’t like black licorice. But as it turns out, something unique happens when licorice and chocolate join forces. The experience becomes something entirely new—not your typical chocolate cookie nor the intense pep of licorice candies, especially salty Swedish Salmiakki, which most are accustomed to. The notes of one blend with the other, and it's almost impossible to determine where one flavor ends and the other begins. The chocolate softens the bite of the licorice, and the licorice wakes it up. This cookie is salty, sweet, and surprisingly complex.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Place chocolate, water, and vanilla extract in a medium heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
Place butter in a small pot over medium heat and begin melting. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Immediately pour over chocolate mixture and stir until completely melted. Set aside.
Place eggs and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed for 7 minutes until eggs are pale and ribbony. Meanwhile, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, licorice root power, anise, and salt. Set aside.
Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add melted chocolate mixture. Once combined, add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Using a large #20 cookie scoop (or 3 rounded tablespoons), portion batter onto prepared trays leaving two inches between each. Sprinkle tops with flaky salt and bake until puffed and crackly, about 11 minutes. Remove from oven, give the tray a good smack against the counter, and let cool for at least 20 minutes.