Chocolate-Dipped Cherry Cookies

1/2 cup whole almonds, — chopped & divided
1 package (18.25 oz) cherry-flavored cake mix
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips — melted
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Finely chop almonds with food chopper. Reserve about 2 tablespoons almonds for garnish. Combine remaining almonds, cake mix, egg, oil and water in mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. (Mixture will be dry) With small stainless steel scoop, drop dough 2 inches apart onto 13″ baking stone. Bake 13-15 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes on stone; remove to non-stick cooling rack. Cool completely. Place chocolate chips and oil in covered micro-cooker. Microwave on high 2-21/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate; shake to remove excess. Sprinkle with reserved almonds. Place on parchment paper and refrigerate until set. Yield: about 3 dozen. NOTES : If chocolate thickens, microwave at 30-second intervals until dipping consistency.

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