butternut squash squares w/ chocolate drizzle + sea salt, a virtual friendsgiving + a giveaway! / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

it's one last hurrah, before we hang up the thanksgiving hat and move on.  but before we do, there's a few things we need to take care of.  first! this week we're celebrating a virtual friendsgiving, hosted by renee, from will frolic for food and j.q. dickinson salt company!  some of my favorite blogger friends will be sharing really rad thanksgiving dishes, menus, tips, the list goes on (you can follow on instagram by using the hashtag: #jqdfriendsgiving or follow along here)!  plus, i'm giving away a bottle of j.q. dickinson company's beautiful salt.  rarely do i call salt beautiful, but after watching this video on how they develop their salt, and watching the care and attention that goes into it, i've found an such an appreciation for their process.  i've been enjoying this salt on just about everything, from roasted veggies, to topping weekend eggie breakfasts, to sprinkling it on my sweets!  i can't find enough ways to use it!

if you've hung around this space enough, you're probably aware that i love sprinkling flecks of salt on anything made in combination with chocolate.  which brings me to these butternut squash bars!  there are so many recipes out there that i've been meaning to make, then months (and sometime years) go by, and then i'm reminded of them and kicking myself for how much time has gone by.  case in point,  laura's banana bread granola bars with chocolate drizzles! well, the baking stars aligned last week and i finally made them with a few seasonal changes.  i thought friendsgiving called for more of a pumpkin bread granola bar situation, and from there i loaded these babes up with some warm spices and added a few festive pumpkin seeds.  these butternut bars came together so delightfully, they're sweet enough to count for dessert, but hearty enough to enjoy in the morning as a sturdy breakfast.  they are totally a new favorite non-treat, treat!

***for the giveaway! one lucky winner will receive a jar of j.q. dickinson salt company salt, wrapped in its personal little burlap bag!  just leave a comment below, and i will pick a winner at random.  contest ends friday, november 28th at 6pm!

happy almost thanksgiving friends! xo

butternut squash squares w/ chocolate drizzle + sea salt (v + gf)

barely adapted from The First Mess

| makes 32 bars |


  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably grade b)
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined extra virgin coconut oil, more for greasing pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa (or puffed brown rice, puffed millet, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  •  1/4 cup cacao nibs (or dairy-free chocolate chips)
  • large grain sea salt for sprinkling

chocolate drizzle

  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


  • preheat oven to 350° and line a 8x11-inch pan with parchment paper (make sure it's a big enough piece to allow overhang).  set aside.
  • in a large bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients, until mixed and creamy.  in another large bowl, combine the oats, puffed quinoa, nuts, seeds, and cacao nibs.  add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix for a couple minutes, until everything coated and mixed thoroughly.  transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan, and bake in the center of your oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
  • remove from oven and place on a cooling rack; allow bars to cool completely before cutting.  with a sharp knife cut the bars into even squares
  • in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, add the chocolate and coconut oil; stir with a spatula until melted.  using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the bars; transfer to refrigerator for 10 minutes (you want the chocolate half set).  remove from fridge and sprinkle with as much or as little sea salt as desired.  place back in the fridge until chocolate has completely set  
  • bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for roughly 4-5 days