Preheat oven to 350℉
Place bacon slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (For sweeter candied bacon, dip each slice in maple syrup before adding to the pan.)
Sprinkle brown sugar over the bacon and season liberally with fresh, ground pepper. Add cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until sugar is caramelized and bacon is done. Watch the bacon as it cooks to ensure the sugar doesn't burn.
When the bacon looks almost done, flip it and bake on the other side for the last 5 minutes of cooking time, until the bacon is chewy-crisp but not charred.
Remove bacon from the oven. As it cools, the candy coating will harden.
Transfer bacon to a plate, clean piece of parchment paper or a wire rack that has been coated with cooking spray.
Store leftover candied bacon in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four days.