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In a food processor, combine confectioners’ sugar and almond paste. Cover and process until combined. Add milk, cherries, almond extract and vanilla. Cover and process until mixture comes together. Remove and knead until smooth. (Or place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut almond paste into the sugar until fine crumbs form. Finely chop the cherries. Add cherries to sugar mixture; stir in milk, almond extract and vanilla. Stir until mixture comes together. Knead until smooth.)
Pinch off 1-inch balls of mixture; shape balls into 2-1/2-inch-long sticks.
In a medium saucepan, heat chocolate and shortening over low heat until melted and mixture is smooth. Dip sticks into chocolate to coat, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Set sticks on a sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Chill until set. Store covered in the refrigerator.