Review (x2): New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches (5 Cheese, Ham & Cheese)
JFNation, so this was gonna be a MICRO-REVIEW, but I have a TINY bit more to say. Let’s get into it.
Today’s junk food: New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches!!
New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches were sent to me, and represent another addition to the pool of Hot-Pocket-like sandwiches in the marketplace. Hey, Amy’s can do it, why NOT Auntie Anne’s?
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of this company. Some of my best memories of childhood were going with my mom to get these buttery hot pretzels as big as my (then) face in the local mall food court. That soft dough, that sweet/salty buttery surface – it was crack. Gluten-filled crack.
And now they’re making sandwiches out of them? Color me intrigued.
New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches come in three flavors – 5 Cheese, seen above, Ham & Cheese, seen below, and a third variety I didn’t get – Pepperoni and Cheese. Truthfully, I’m a little bummed that I didn’t get that third variety, because that was the one I was most interested in. Still, the other two looked pretty good.
What’re the 5 Cheeses? According to the ingredient list…Ricotta, Mozz, Parmesan, Romano, and…PROVOLONE! See? I can read.
The Ham & Cheese version of these New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches contain basically everything the 5 Cheese version had, just sub out the ricotta and add in the pork.
You can make these Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches in the oven or the microwave – these aren’t like Hot Pockets; there is not heat sleeve for you to microwave these buns in. I wanted to get the FULL experience, plus, what else do I have going on (nadda), so I opted for the oven baked directions, foil, baking sheet, and all.
And voila! New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches, piping hot, straight from the oven. They sort of look like mini calzones, no? The aroma coming off of them was awesome – no cheese smell or ham smell; instead just a light buttery bread aroma. Sort of reminded me of the buttery smell that I often recognized wafting from the Auntie Anne’s pretzel kiosk, but lighter. Plus, the herbs on top did give it a slightly more aromatic aroma. Aromatic aroma? I’m a word smith, clearly.
Cutting open the 5 Cheese variety of these New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches, I was amazed that the inside was super hot! The cheese flowed! Er….what cheese there was, that is. The tiny rivulet of cheese I found certainly did not match the open gusher of cheese represented on the box. Disappointing.
Still, the taste was PRETTY awesome. These pretzel bun itself was, in my opinion, super super tasty. The flavoring of the dough definitely reminded me of a muted Auntie Anne’s pretzel – not as drenched in butter, but still with plenty of butter taste itself. The oven definitely gave it that “baked” and the texture was REALLY good – soft and chewy. It DIDN’T get hard as the sandwich cooled, which I liked, and it had a tension to the dough like a pretzel – as my teeth compressed the dough, it would squeeze down and tighten before finally being cut by my teeth. Just like a pretzel. Thumbs up there.
As for the cheese, it was fine. Good ricotta and mozz flavor, with nice herbage. Just not enough of it. Overall, this felt more like…uh…a pretzel cheese bread, than a cheese sandwich.
The Ham & Cheese variety of the New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches was a LITTLE better, only because there was a bit more filling. Even though you can’t really see it because of the flowing cheese, there was two layers of ham within the inside of the sandwich. The cheese/ham ratio to the pretzel was better, but I still think MORE FILLING if Auntie Anne’s really wants these to be considered “sandwiches.”
Again, here, the bun/dough/pretzel was the super star. Just like the 5 Cheese variety, the dough was PERFECT. Good texture, good flavor, good tension, good everything. I REALLY liked how Auntie Anne’s formulated their bread for these microwave/oven sandwiches. These crushed Hot Pockets – this dough was clearly superior to any Hot Pocket I’d ever had. Plus, using the baking instructions, the inside was decently hot – even without a heat sleeve! And these did go from frozen right into the oven. No burning hot outside, ice cold insides. These were well heated through and through. (One note – my oven tends to be on the slower/cooler side, so I baked these for like 28 minutes, as opposed to the 22-24 suggested).
Overall? I really liked these, but primarily because the outside was so good. Not a bad venture into the pocket sandwich market, Auntie Anne’s. If you can figure out how to increase the ratio of the innards, I’d move these to the top of the chain. Watch out, Hot Pocket.
PURCHASED AT: You can buy them at Target, HEB, Schnucks, Ingles, A&P, Weis, Shaw’s, Lowes Foods, Cub Foods, Piggly Wiggly and select Costco stores.
COST: Retail $3.99
Junk Food Guy