Halloween Beans [frankenbeans]

Just about a month ago, I made How Sweet’s slow cooker bourbon baked beans, and they left me wanting something a little more timeless.  And then shortly after that, my new favorite book ever, How to Celebrate Everything arrived, and within the first couple of pages, out popped the classic baked beans recipe everyone needs in his or her arsenal.  She makes hers on Halloween for her great launching of the children, and we used ours in much the same vein.

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I followed Jenny’s recipe in terms of ingredients, but took her oven baked beans to the stove top.  She calls for these to sit in the oven for 5 hours, which sounds so dreamy, but I wasn’t going to be home for 5 straight hours on Halloween.*  As you can read in the recipe below I kept my pot on the stove all day, turning it on and off as I came and went.

These are a classic, and a new Halloween staple in our house, to be sure.

To make beans for 4-6 people, you will need:

  • 1 lb. dry navy beans
  • small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 C maple syrup (the real stuff, please)
  • 1/4 C ketchup (why yes, I did use this)
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 T spicy brown mustard
  • 2 T molasses
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 thick strip bacon
  • boiling water
  • 4 hot dogs, cut into rounds

At least one day before you need the beans: Soak beans overnight (cover with water in a pot and leave them on your counter).

This next step can be done the day before, or the day of: Bring water to a boil and let beans cook till tender, about 1 hour.  Drain.  If you’re not using them right away, put them in a container, seal it tightly, and refrigerate till you need ’em.

The day of: Bring a pot of water to a simmer.  In another large pot, combine onion, maple syrup, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, molasses, salt, pepper, bacon strip (yes, uncooked!) and whisk around a little bit.  Add beans, and just enough simmering water to cover.  Let that cook on the stovetop.  For as long as you want.  Keep adding water to keep everything just covered.  I probably simmered mine about 2 or 3 hours in the morning, another hour in the afternoon, and even another hour or two before we enjoyed them.

*Side note: Halloween as a parent?  Holy fun!  But holy exhausting!

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