My sweet cherries were a little bigger than raisins, and I wanted to plump them up. I covered them in hot water (not boiling) and added the lemon zest. I let them soak for about a half hour then rinsed them off. You can soak them in a fruit juice if you like, but it might change the cherry flavor a bit. I love lemon zest since I think it wakes up the cherry flavor. Set them aside.
In a bowl weigh or measure the flour and baking powder. Run a whisk through to blend. In another bowl weigh or measure the powdered sugar and set it aside.
In a stand (I use a KitchenAid) or handheld mixer (medium speed) cream the butter and the cream cheese together. You want it nice and light in color. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and gradually add the powdered sugar till incorporated. Turn the mixer speed back up and add one egg at a time followed by the vanilla extract.
Gradually add the flour baking powder mixture. I stop and scrape the bowl down the sides and across the bottom to make sure all the flour is incorporated. Add the almond slices and add the cherries last. Just mix long enough to spread the cherries around in the cookie dough. Be careful not to mix too long, or it will break the cherries up into small pieces. You may have to mix the cherries a little by hand with a spatula.
Cover the cookie dough loosely and put into the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours. Preheat your oven to 350° and line 2 pans with parchment paper.
Take the cookie dough out of the refrigerator and with a cookie scoop (I use a OXO Good Grips Cookie Scoop Medium add 12 to a pan. They do not spread too much so 12 will work.
Bake for 15-17 minutes for the medium scoop at 350°, if using a small scoop cut back on time. Leave them on the pan after pulling them from the oven before moving to a cooling rack. Let them cool completely.
Take the dark chocolate chips and microwave them for a minute. Stir and heat for another 30 seconds till completely melted. You can cut a tiny corner off a sturdy ziplock bag or use a small pastry bag and a little hole size tip to squeeze the chocolate on top of each cookie. I freehand the chocolate back and forth. Go easy on the dark chocolate; it does not take much for the taste.