BEAT sugar and shortening in bowl of electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg and almond extract, beating until well blended. Combine flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Add gradually to shortening mixture at low speed.
DIVIDE dough into 4 quarters. Wrap each quarter of dough with plastic wrap. Freeze 30 minutes or refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days.
HEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Roll 1 quarter of dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Remove top sheet of wax paper. Cut with a floured 2-inch round scalloped cutter. Cut centers out of half of the cookies with a 3/4-inch cutter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
BAKE 6 to 7 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on baking sheet. Remove to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.
SPREAD about 1/2 teaspoon jam on bottom side of each whole cookie. Place cookie with cut-out center on top of jam. If desired, sprinkle tops with powdered sugar.
If dough gets too soft while cutting, place in freezer for 10 minutes. Cookie dough cuts easier when chilled.