2 3/4 c sifted all-purpose flour
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 t soda
1/2 t salt
1 c butter
1/2 lb to 1 lb almond paste, give or take
1 slightly beaten egg
1 t almond extract
1/3 c whole almonds
Preheat oven to 325. Sift flour, sugar, soda, and salt together into bowl. Cut in butter and almond paste until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add egg and almond extract; mix well. (Alternatively, cream butter with sugar, soften paste in microwave oven, cut into pieces, and cream it into the fat/sugar. Cream in egg, extract. Add well-mixed dry ingredients in batches).
Shape dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Place an almond atop each cookie and press down to flatten slightly. Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on rack.
UPDATE 12/29/11: Do not obey the above directions. Do cream the butter with the sugar. Cut the almond paste into small-ish chunks without softening it in the microwave-- the warm almond paste runs the risk of melting the butter, which is bad. Cream the almond paste into the fat/sugar. This may take some time and effort. It is ok if there are some little chunks of almond paste that aren't quite incorporated. Then add egg, extract. Add well-mixed dry ingredients in batches. Bake on parchment paper. These cookies brown less than other cookies. You want the bottoms to just be toasty golden, not brown. The tops should not really be brown in the slightest.