Turn the kitchen into an edible monster laboratory where kids can create their own crusty creatures.
Having a couple of loaves? worth of bread dough in the freezer comes in handy for spur-of-the-moment affairs.
To begin, heat the oven to 400º so it will be ready when your monster-makers are finished sculpting.
Divide the dough evenly among the kids, reserving a chunk for colored dough. Mixing in the color is probably best left to an adult, since the process can get messy in the wrong hands. Here?s how to do it: Divide the designated chunk into smaller balls, dip a toothpick in the coloring paste and dab one of the dough balls, then knead until the desired color is achieved.
To create their monsters, kids can try a variety of techniques, such as rolling balls and snakes of dough, cutting out shapes, using scissors to snip a furry texture, or using a garlic press to create hair. Raisins also make great eyes, spots, collars, or buttons.
Carefully place the finished monsters on a greased cookie sheet. Cover them with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let them rise an additional 10 to 15 minutes before baking. If you want a shiny finish, whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of water and brush on just before baking.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Then hand each monster-maker a glass of milk with his creation and watch the freshly baked treats disappear.