Sift flour, soda and salt into a medium bowl, whisk briefly to make sure the salt and soda are distributed; set aside.
Cream butter and cream cheese in large mixing bowl; gradually add sugar, beating with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
Add egg; beat well. Stir in almond extract.
Add flour mixture to creamed mixture in 3 additions, mixing well after each. Form into a rough ball shape, cover with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
Shape dough into balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter, roll in pecans, pressing to make sure pecans adhere. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookies sheets. Gently press cherry half in center of each cookie while slightly flattening the top. If you aren't going to use cherries, gently flatten the top of each ball with two fingers.
Bake 7-10 minutes. You don’t want to overbake them, so make sure to watch as you get closer to 7 minutes. They are done when the edges just begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living's Christmas Cookies, 1986 Edition.The original recipe says to store in refrigerator up to 1 week, but my mom never did and neither have I. They are best served room temperature so that all the flavors can be enjoyed together!
All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Thanks!