Combine ½ cup of the sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the simple syrup into a heat-proof bowl and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Add the cranberries and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, stirring a couple of times to coat with syrup.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Drain the cranberries, then roll them in the sugar. You may need to roll them a few times to get a couple of layers of sugar on them. Place the sugared cranberries on the prepared baking sheet and allow to dry for 1 hour before using.
You may need to add more sugar for rolling the cranberries at the end, depending on how much simple syrup is still clinging to the cranberries. Just add more as needed.Nutritional values are based on one cup