Almond Cream Cookies

Almond Cream Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons soft-style cream cheese, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Corn Meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or water
Red or green candied cherries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat margarine, granulated sugar and 1/2 cup cream cheese at medium speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and almond extract; mix until well blended. Gradually add combined flour, corn meal and baking powder; mix well. Stir in almonds. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

Mix remaining 2 tablespoons cream cheese and powdered sugar until blended. Add milk; mix until smooth. Spread over cookies. Garnish with halved red or green candied cherries, if desired. Store tightly covered.