1. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and salt on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, gradually beat in flour just until combined.
2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap (dough will be sticky). Refrigerate 1 hour. Divide dough in half, shaping each half into 6-inch log. Wrap each half. Refrigerate 2 hours.
3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
4. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Pinch together top and bottom of each circle to make bow-tie shape.
5. Decorate by pressing cherry half into center of each bow tie, and almonds on sides if desired.
6. Bake in 350 degrees F oven 14 to 16 minutes or until golden and set around edges. Transfer to wire racks; let cool.