In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine ½ cup sugar and water. Stir frequently until sugar has dissolved and remove from heat.
Add cranberries and stir to coat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they're well coated.
Transfer cranberries to wire rack to cool (placing parchment paper underneath to catch the dripping sugar syrup). Allow to cool for an hour.
Place remaining sugar in a large bowl and add half of the cranberries. Toss to combine. Using a slotted spoon, transfer coated cranberries to clean parchment paper to set. Repeat with the other half. Let set for at least an hour, then enjoy!