Preheat oven to 375F°. Roughly chop almonds with a knife or food processor. Pea size chunks are best.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and almond extract until fluffy. A hand mixer or fork can be used. Stir in chopped almonds and cherries.
Prepare a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Unroll crescent roll dough onto your prepared cookie sheet. Pinch perforations to seal. Reposition strips as needed to seal well. Using a spoon or small cookie scoop, spread cream cheese mixture in a thin strip down the center of your dough.
Starting on one side of the filling, cut strips from the edge of dough to within 1/4 inch of the filling. Strips should be no more than one inch apart. Repeat process on the other side of filling. Starting at one end, fold strips over the filling at an angle. Alternate sides. This will form a semi braided look.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Using two metal spatulas, carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.
If topping with sugar glaze, mix powdered sugar and mix until mixed well and creamy. Drizzle over braided coffee cake.
Store in an airtight container.