Preheat oven to 350°F. In small skillet, toast poppy seeds over medium-high heat, stirring often until seeds change color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes; set aside. Place almonds on baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush two baking sheets with oil or line with parchment paper; set aside.
In food processor, finely grind toasted almonds and oats. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add rice flour, toasted poppy seeds, salt, cinnamon and cardamom and mix to blend.
In medium bowl, mix oil, rice syrup, apricot spread and almond extract until blended. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until blended (batter will be sticky).
Roll 1 tablespoon dough into a ball and flatten to form a cookie about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. (It’s helpful to dip hands and utensils in water when working with this sticky dough.) Press a cluster of blanched, slivered almonds (about 5) into centers of each cookie. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake until bottoms are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool in pans for several minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.