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Raspberry Almond Muffins

about 5 oz. almond paste
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. almond extract
2 c. flour
1 c. buttermilk
about 1/4 c. raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with foil baking cups. Cut almond paste into 16 pieces and pat each piece into a round disc about 1 1/2-inches across.

In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then mix in baking powder, soda and extract. Fold in 1 cup flour, then buttermilk and lastly remaining flour until well blended. Spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into each cup and smooth surface. Top with level teaspoonful preserves, then with pieces of almond paste. Top each muffin with another 2 tablespoons batter. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Serve warm.
Makes 20 servings. 

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