1. Preheat one oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the top and bottom, and the other to 300 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. In a small ovenproof saucepan, stir together the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the cranberries, orange zest, and 2 tablespoons honey. Cover and transfer to the 300 degrees F oven. Poach until the cranberries are plumped and warm but have not burst, about 30 minutes. Discard the orange zest.
3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and half and half until well mixed, then stir in the egg, remaining tablespoon honey, and shallot mixture. Add the ground meat and a very generous pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper and use your hands to mix thoroughly.
5. Use a tablespoon to portion the mixture into small meatballs and set them on the prepared pans, spacing 1 inch apart. Roast until browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes, switching the pans halfway through.
6. Use decorative cocktail toothpicks to skewer together 1 meatball and 1 cranberries. Spoon the cranberry cooking liquid over the skewers, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.