Combine 2 Â½ cups of sugar, water, vanilla, and orange extract in a sauce pan. Heat over medium until the sugar has completely dissolvedâ€”but not boiling. Pour in the cranberries and stir. The hot syrup will loosen the skin, saturate the berries and adhere to the berries over time. Cover the cranberries with a small plate to keep them mostly submerged. Then cover the pan and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Place the remaining 1 Â¼ cup of sugar in a rimmed dish. Strain the cranberries and place them in the sugar. Shake until they are completely coated. Carefully transfer them to a baking sheet to dryâ€”about an hour. Once the sugar coating is hard, place them in an air-tight container and keep in a cool spot for up to a week!