Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Pour the maple syrup into a shallow bowl and give each bacon slice (both sides) a generous dip in the syrup. Lay the bacon on the prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle it with black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the bacon over and bake until it is crisp at the edges and caramelized on the bottom, another 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Nudge the bacon slices to unmoor them from the baking sheet, and let cool for a minute to firm up. Transfer to a long platter to serve.
Adapted from "The New Midwestern Table" by Amy Thielen (c) Clarkson Potter, 2013. Provided courtesy of Amy Thielen. All rights reserved.