Use a mixer to beat together the butter and sugar. Beat for up to 4 minutes until the mixture is creamy and light in colour.
Add in the buttermilk and vanilla extract and beat until it is incorporated into the creamed mixture.
Fold in the flour, 1/3 ar a time using a metal spoon or spatula to form a soft dough.
Press out the dough into a rectangle or form into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. See note 3
Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and roll out onto a well-floured surface, until about 1/2 an inch ( 1cm ) thick
Cut out the cookies using any shape you prefer and place on the baking lined or greased a baking sheet. Use a smaller cutter to cut out the centre of the cookie dough making sure to leave a large enough border.
Separate the candy into colours and either crush or leave as a whole candy to fill the inside of the cutout shapes before baking.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are golden and the candy has melted.
If you are using the cookies as an ornament then immediately after baking, use a toothpick to make a small hole at the top to thread a decorative ribbon.
Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes before serving or using as an edible Christmas decoration. See note 4