Sugared cranberries are easy to make and provide a fresh pop of acidity to rich, creamy desserts, like this sweet potato pie. You can also serve these frosted jewels on their own, or skewer them as a garnsh for a festive holiday cocktail.
In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add cranberries; return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Let cool completely. Use a slotted spoon to lift cranberries out of syrup (reserve syrup for another use, such as for cocktails); transfer to a wire rack and let dry until just tacky to the touch, 30 minutes.
Toss with remaining 1/4 cup sugar to coat. Let dry completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. (If sugar has melted at all, toss with more before using.)