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Makes 1 loaf, about 16 slices

• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
• 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
• 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate morsels
• 1/3 cup toasted chopped almonds

Put margarine and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until well mixed.

Stir in buttermilk, eggs and almond extract; mix well.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add to buttermilk mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Stir in cherries, chocolate morsels and nuts.

Grease and flour bottom only of 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 55 to 65 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen edges with a metal spatula. Remove from pan. Let cool completely.

Wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Note: If buttermilk is not available, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in 1 cup liquid measure. Fill with milk to make 1 cup.

To toast almonds: Spread almonds in an ungreased pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until brown.

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