1 pound thick-cut bacon
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Optional: add maple syrup, cayenne, chopped pecans, ground-up pecans, butter, etc.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil, or double up and use two sheets of regular aluminum foil. Place a wire baking rack on top.
Lay the bacon slices on top of the wire rack, making sure the slices are not touching each other. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the bacon looks like it’s almost cooked but not quite crispy. Sprinkle the slices evenly with the brown sugar and pepper. Return the bacon to the oven to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes or so, until the bacon is browned and the sugar is bubbly. Let the bacon cool; as it cools, it will crisp up. Serve at room temperature.