Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil topped with a sheet of parchment paper.
To make the maple and brown sugar glaze, combine the maple syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and reserve.
Arrange the bacon strips on the prepared baking sheet, overlapping slightly if needed.
Bake until the bacon slices start to brown, about 15 minutes. Blot the excess grease with paper towels.
Brush generously with the glaze and sprinkle generously with the black pepper. Continue baking for 5 minutes.
Turn the bacon strips, blot extra grease, and brush generously with the glaze. Sprinkle all over with freshly ground black pepper.
Continue baking until bacon strips are crispy and browned, about 10 more minutes. Your exact cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your bacon. Watch carefully towards the end of cooking time so bacon doesn't overcook.
Remove from the oven and cool. Blot any excess grease. Arrange on a platter and serve. Makes 12 pieces.
*You can substitute regular Grade A pure maple syrup if you don't have bourbon barrel aged syrup.