To make the balls, all you need are these 4 ingredients:
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
Line a baking sheet with wax paper (you may need two depending on the size).
In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar with clean hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. (You can experiment with the size you want – some people like them larger, some like them smaller.) Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.
Hint: I use a small ice-cream scooper to make uniform balls.
In a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water, melt the following (stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat):
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
(You may find that you will need more chocolate. If so, just add more chocolate chips and shortening accordingly).
Remove balls from refrigerator, insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Leave part of the ball uncovered for the buckeye effect. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. The toothpick will leave a hole so if you don’t like that, you can smooth it but it will be time-consuming. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. They can also be frozen.