This maple-kissed version of baked beans makes an excellent accompaniment to our maple-glazed BBQ ribs. The best way to “bake” these beans is in a slow cooker, where you can put them on autopilot, just stirring occasionally—they're so worth the wait.
First, precook the beans: Put beans in a large (3- to 4-quart) pot with 6 cups water. Set over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low, uncover, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid.
Pour beans into your slow cooker; add remaining ingredients, combining well. Cover and cook on high until beans are tender, 7 to 9 hours (time varies depending on your slow cooker), stirring periodically; add reserved liquid as needed to keep beans moist.