PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES                             

Makes 18 cupcakes.

1/2 cup hot strong coffee
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tbs unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
4 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 325°. Line one 12 cup and one 6 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
MAKE CUPCAKES---Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together
three times. Beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs, beating until light
and fluffy. Beat in one third of the flour mixture. Beat in buttermilk and
vanilla, then another one third of the flour mixture. Beat in coffee and then
the remaining flour mixture. Fill muffin cups halfway and bake for 25 min. or
until done. Set pans on a rack to cool.
-MAKE FILLING---Beat butter and peanut butter until blended. Beat in powdered
sugar until smooth and fluffy. Spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a
plain tip. Insert the tip into the top of each cupcake and squeeze 1 1/2 tbs
filling into each cupcake.
-MAKE GANACHE FROSTING---Place chocolate in a bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan
until scalding. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit 1 min. then whisk until
smooth. Let sit 10 min. until thick but still pourable. Dunk tops of cupcakes
into frosting to coat, then place on a rack and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
Transfer to refrigerator for 20 min. to set, then SERVE...