Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife, slit each date in half lengthwise.
Mix together feta, pecan pieces, pepper, and salt (if using).
Fill each date with about 1 tsp of filling mixture.
Wrap each stuffed date in half a piece of bacon, secure with toothpick and place on baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and brush with maple syrup. Flip dates over and brush other side with syrup then return to oven and bake an additional 10 - 15 minutes, until bacon is desired crispiness.
Sprinkle with chili flakes and parsley before serving.
Add salt to the filling or sprinkle a little flaked salt on with the parsley after baking if you prefer more salty than sweet.Either serve with the toothpick in or remove it. To remove, make sure you pull it from the non-end side so it doesn’t start unwrapping the bacon when you remove it.Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F for 5 to 8 minutes, watching carefully so that the bacon doesn’t crisp up too much.