Cherry Cheese Nougats

1 c. shortening
3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
(room temperature)
1-1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2-1/2 c. flour
1 t. almond extract
1 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 c. chopped nuts
Maraschino cherries, drained and cut in half

Beat shortening, cream cheese, and sugar until well mixed. Add egg, almond extract, salt, and baking soda. Beat in flour (dough will be soft). Roll into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. Dip one side into chopped nuts and place on greased cookie sheet. Press cherry half into each cookie making sure it is pressed in deep enough, so when the cookie bakes the cherry will not fall off. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes until light golden brown around the bottom edges.