Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 375F, Gas Mark 5.
Cream together the fat and sugar, then gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla essence.
Sift and stir in the flour and mix to a fairly soft dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Cover or wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least an hour or preferably overnight.
When ready, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to around 2mm thick.
Cut into star shapes with a cookie cutter and then use a smaller star shaped cutter to cut out the middle. You can make mini stained glass star biscuits by using the smaller cut out star and removing a hole from its centre. Transfer the cookies on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment and place a boiled sweet in the middle of each biscuit. For the mini stained glass star biscuits you will only need a small amount of the boiled sweets, so I would advise crushing or chopping some of the sweets separately. Bake in the oven for approx 10 minutes or until the sweets have melted and the biscuits are lightly golden in colour. The mini biscuits will need half the time so I would bake these on a separate tray. Once out of the oven leave the biscuits on the baking tray to cool.