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Cherry Cobbler

2 cans (16 ounces each) sour red cherries in juice or water 
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
3/4 cup sugar 
red food coloring, a few drops, optional 
3 tablespoons butter or margarine 
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel 
1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup milk 
1/4 cup shortening 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 egg 

Drain cherries; reserve 1 cup of the liquid. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, 3/4 cup sugar, food coloring (if used), and reserved liquid. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add butter, lemon peel, almond extract, and drained cherries. Stir mixture gently until butter is melted. Pour fruit mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish; set aside.
In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk, shortening, and vanilla; beat with an electric hand-held mixer at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

Add egg and beat 1 minute longer. Spoon over fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake topping springs back when pressed gently with finger. Serve cherry cobbler with whipped topping or ice cream.