In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, and milk. Blend with a fork; beat for about 30 seconds. Pour batter into a greased and floured 8- or 9-inch square pan. Mix together the brown sugar, almonds and cinnamon; sprinkle over coffee cake batter. Spoon preserves over the topping. Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
Spread with icing while still warm and serve warm.
Combine icing ingredients adding milk or water just until desired icing consistency is reached.