Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a pastry blender or two forks, mix together 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of flour until mixture resembles small peas.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water over the coarse mixture and, using your hands, form into a ball of dough.
Split the dough in half and press out into 2, 3" wide strips, on an ungreased baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of water to a boil and then remove from heat.
Stir in the remaining cup of flour and xanthan gum.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next.
Stir in the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon almond extract.
Spread the mixture on the prepared dough and bake for 60 minutes.
While the almond puff is baking, make the powdered sugar icing. Combine the shortening, almond milk, 2 teaspoons almond extract, and powdered sugar and stir together until smooth.
Remove the almond puff from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the pan.
Spread the powdered sugar icing over the almond puff and decorate with the walnuts and maraschino cherries.
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