Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleaning) and place a wire baking rack on top.
Combine the brown sugar and pecans in a food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and pulse to combine. Add the maple syrup and pulse again to moisten the crumbs.
Cut each bacon slice in half crosswise and line up the pieces on the baking rack without touching (if possible... mine sometimes touch if I need to squeeze a bunch on). With a small spoon, evenly spread the pecan mixture on top of each piece of bacon, using all of the mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is very browned but not burnt. It it's underbaked, the bacon won't crisp as it cools.
While it's hot, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels (important to do while it's hot and moldable... I've gotten distracted and let it cool too long. It was a fight to get the bacon off the cooling rack).
Serve at room temperature (on your fanciest dish)!
*These can be made early in the day and stored at room temperature.
Source: Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten