Makes 36 bars.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons half-and-half or milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
36 red maraschino cherries, well drained
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium mixing bowl, combine the first four ingredients listed. Beat on low with electric mixer until soft dough forms. Press mixture evenly into ungreased 8-inch square baking pan to form base. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
In another medium mixing bowl, combine fondant ingredients. Beat on low until smooth. Carefully spread fondant evenly over base. Arrange cherries over fondant in 6 rows of 6.
In 1-quart saucepan, combine chips and shortening. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Spoon melted chips over and between cherries, spreading to cover fondant. Chill until set before cutting. Store in refrigerator.