Butter an 8-inch square baking pan with 1 1/2 teaspoons butter; set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine water, corn syrup and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and cook for 3 minutes to dissolve any sugar crystals. Uncover; cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 300°F (hard crack stage).
Remove from heat; stir in anise extract and food coloring (keep face away from mixture as odor is very strong). Pour into prepared pan. Using a sharp knife, score into 3/4-inch squares. Cool.
Separate into squares, using a sharp knife, if necessary. Place confectioners' sugar in a baking pan; add candy and roll until coated. Brush off excess sugar with a pastry brush.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Yields about 8 dozen (1 pound)
Please Note: Nutritional values listed may vary from final results depending on actual measurements and brands used to prepare the recipe.