Dice cherries and pat between paper towels to drain excess juice.
Melt butter on low in medium pot. Add vanilla, powdered sugar, and condensed milk – stir until smooth. Stir in cherries, coconut, and pecans.
Form mixture into 2-inch balls. Chill in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
Heat the chocolate and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat until chocolate begins to soften and lose its shape, then remove the pan from the heat and stir until melted and smooth.
Working with one candy ball at a time, dip each piece in warmed chocolate. Lift it out with a fork and let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place the coated ball on waxed paper or parchment paper to set.
Chill in refrigerator until the chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
The base recipe (not scaled up/down) yields 8 dozen chocolates.