2 pkg. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (105-115 degree)
2/3 c. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
1 c. warmed milk
2/3 c. butter
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7-8 c. all-purpose flour, or more if needed
1 c. melted butter, divided (2 sticks)
or ½ c. melted butter and buttery nonstick spray
1 3/4 c. granulated sugar, divided
3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, optional
1 1/2 c. raisins, optional
2/3 c. melted butter (1 stick plus 2 tbsp.)
4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4-8 tbsp. hot water
In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky).
Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5 - 10 minutes. Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours (room temperature of 75 degrees is optimal).
When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a 15 x 20 inch rectangle.
To prepare filling: Spread dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins, if desired.
Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices. Coat bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and a 8-inch square pan with remaining 1/2 cup melted butter (or spray with buttery non-stick spray), then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar (optional). Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes (or in refrigerator overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly.
To prepare glaze: Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix melted butter, powdered sugar (sifted) and vanilla; add hot water 1 Tbsp. at a time until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.