2 lbs. (32 oz.) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. finely chopped pecans
2 c. coconut
1 (10 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, chopped (optional)
1 (12 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening (such as Crisco)
Cream together butter, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until well combined.
Add finely chopped pecans and coconut (and cherries, if including); mix well.
Roll filling into 1-inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.
Freeze balls for 30 minutes (or chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours).
Combine chocolate chips and shortening in the top of a double boiler or small shallow mixing bowl set over simmering water.
Stir frequently until chocolate chips are melted and smooth.
Dip Coconut Balls in Chocolate:
Remove melted chocolate from the pot of simmering water. Remove coconut balls from the freezer.
Working with one coconut ball at a time, rest the ball on a fork and use the fork to dip the ball in chocolate to coat completely. Let any excess chocolate drip off back into the melted chocolate.
Place on wax paper-lined pan to allow chocolate to set.
Repeat until all coconut balls have been dipped in chocolate.
Chill the dipped coconut balls until the chocolate is set, about 15 minutes.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator (or freezer) until serving.
I use a small cookie scoop (about 1 tablespoon capacity) to scoop out the coconut dough for each ball. This helps keep all my Martha Washington Candies pretty close to the same size.
See my post How to Melt Chocolate: On the Stove & In the Microwave for helpful tips on melting chocolate.