This sugary candy-coated bacon is always a crowd pleaser and is surprisingly easy to make. I like to use sorghum, a grass much like sugar cane, which came to the Americas via Africa during the slave trade. The juice is extracted from the crushed plant and then boiled down into a syrup. I love the rich flavor of it, but feel free to use maple syrup or molasses instead if you like.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Coat the rack with nonstick cooking spray.
Arrange the bacon slices on the wire rack in a single layer. Brush the bacon slices with half the sorghum. Sprinkle with half the brown sugar and half the pepper, pressing to adhere to the sorghum. Turn the bacon over and repeat the process with the remaining sorghum, brown sugar and pepper. Bake until the fat renders, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes. (The bacon will crisp as it stands.)