Using a hand mixer, cream together the softened butter, creamy peanut butter and vanilla extract.
Sift and add a third of the powdered sugar. Continue to mix with a hand mixer until well combined. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix again until the mixture is combined and looks a bit crumbly.
Using a small cookie scoop if you have one, scoop the mixture and roll into 1” balls. Place the balls on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each ball. Refrigerate and chill for about 2 hours. Alternately, you can place them in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Once the peanut butter balls are chilled, prepare the chocolate coating. Combine the chocolate and vegetable shortening (or coconut oil, if using) in a medium, microwave-safe bowl, and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave the chocolate for 15 more seconds, then stir, and repeat until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth.
When the buckeye balls are chilled, dip each one in chocolate using the following method: Poke a toothpick down into the center of a ball, pick it up, and dip the ball in melted chocolate, leaving a patch about the size of a dime uncovered. Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl, then place the chocolate-dipped buckeye back on the parchment paper and remove the toothpick. Repeat until all the balls are dipped.
Refrigerate the dipped Buckeye Balls for about 2 hours until the chocolate is set. Optionally, smooth over the toothpick hole in each buckeye before chilling.