Some time ago, I talked with @mama_b on twitter about maple syrup. I used to see many recipes with recommendations to use dark maple syrup, or graded 'b', but I couldn't ever find it. Well-@mama_b lives near a (you guessed it) sugar shack and she so kindly offered to send me a jug of syrup. It's so dark and full of flavour I can't help but use it well, almost anything, especially these beans.
If you like the sweetness of baked beans with a hit of maple and some salty bacon, these beans are amazing. They are something you can put in the slow cooker and then just forget about for awhile. We loved them served with barbecued chicken and salad, and they make fantastic leftovers!
Adapted from Spilling the Beans
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch or two of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
two 19 oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
one 19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 slices of bacon, diced
1 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook for about 6 hours, keeping an eye on them and topping up with a little more water if they get too dry. The moisture won't evaporate quite as much as if they were baked in the oven, but the beans do soak some of it up. If they are a little soupy for your liking, just cook them longer. The bacon will cook in the beans and incorporate nicely.