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: The Money Shot

New Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches: The Money Shot

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.

Sincerely,

Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 15 Comments

  1. MP says:

    I’ve been known to take a dinner roll, poke a hole in it with a fork, flatten the insides and start stuffing it with pieces of mozzarella cheese. Zap that for a minute & MMMMMMMM.

  2. IcEDoG says:

    Ooh that looks soooo delicious!! Too bad that we haven’t this food in Switzerland. But we have chocolate and other cheese haha 🙂

  3. Marc P says:

    Spending too much time in airports for work lately, can always depend on Auntie Anne’s. These actually look quite good.
    How have no companies come through with a pretzel laced calzone? This just comes off as genius from Aunties.

    Side note: get a hold of mini muffins s’mores flavor. Tight!! If I had the energy and ability, I would do a s’mores blog, man does that flavor just work.

  4. Heather H. says:

    Booooooo! I love Hot Pockets. They’re like the Chicago Cubs of the freezer case. They may not be the best, but doggone it, their fans stand by them. 😉 I do wish they’d sent you the pizza ones though. I may have to give those a try.

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @HEather: Yeah, I used to LOVE Hot Pockets, but I’ve been 50/50 on them lately. Haven’t tried any of their most recent new varieties….any good?

    • Heather H. says:

      @junkfoodguy The spicy beef nacho and Cuban varieties are stellar. They pop up as limited editions sometimes. The buffalo chicken is definitely a no. I recently tried a new barbecue one with a cornbread crust. It was decent. I tend to stick with good ol’ pepperoni or ham and cheese though. Gotta love the flagships of the Hot Pocket brand. 😉

  5. Michael says:

    I had another pocket sandwich brand from Wal-Mart. They were really cheap and had a bunch of decent sounding flavors. Went with like Buffalo Chicken pretzel crusted. Baked the outside, ice cold filling. Maybe it was my foils fault. Low filling amount, but I guess it was dirt cheap.

    It is sad to hear these lack filling. I would probably rather just have a really good pretzel then.

  6. John W says:

    Based on the pics of the nutrition labels, the Auntie Anne’s products easily surpass pretty much every Hot Pocket for protein and calcium content, while also having less sodium. A two-pack of Hot Pockets will generally weigh in around 9 ounces, whereas these Auntie Anne products are both 10.8 ounces.

  7. Sophia says:

    These remind me of the Costco Food Court Chicken Bake. If you have never had one, I recommend trying them, so bad for you, but worth it (once and a while).

  8. Lauren says:

    Looking for a pretzel calzone- Pretzel & Pizza creations in Frederick on N. Market. Everything is made with pretzel dough.

  9. C. says:

    I’ve tried Auntie Annie’s maybe a dozen times total –usually in train stations or airports..but once the novelty wore off (around encounter #5, or #6) I was never able to get back to the initial semi-pleasure of an Auntie Annie’s binge. A lot of times it might be that the clueless high-school kids manning these shops just don’t give a damn about what they’re doing, or have no idea what they’re supposed to be doing. It also could be that Auntie Annie’s altered their recipe slightly over the years. Like, maybe they found some way to whip up their dough, their mustard, or their cheese sauce in petri dishes or test tubes and it saves them money but somehow, dunking a hot Auntie Annie’s pretzel in an Auntie Annie’s sauce just isn’t the same anymore. Nowadays, the products they sell here make me feel nauseous. Its the same phenomenon which afflicts McDonald’s products, as far as I’m concerned. I have to seek high-and-low to find anything on a McD’s menu which doesn’t make me want to retch my guts up; its that disgusting. There’s something chemical-y and artificial in the very texture of the dough used to make the buns for McD burgers, let alone anything in the burger. Similarly, there’s something immediately false, phony, bogus, and chemical-based in an Annie’s products these days; instantly apparent at first bite. Its a shame because I’m a big fan of a good soft pretzel. Its a snack which deserves a fixed place in the fast-food landscape. But a soft pretzel has to have *some* structure, *some* texture. It can’t just be toasty-brown-looking but soft-as-wet-tissues. Yeah…you go in to Annie’s expecting it to be as good as when they first appeared on the scene but instead, the lighted-up-box at the counter only has a few drab, limp, soggy pretzels; all of them left out too long under the warming lamp; grotesque and hideous with pre-applied salt or icing or whatever. Annie’s pretzels now are simply repellent (to me). They’re incredibly greasy and squishy and just putting a bite in my mouth makes me wish I had any other option. A real soft pretzel–say, right off a street cart in Philadelphia–is friggin amazin.

  10. Surfer Sandman says:

    If they make a pepperoni and mozzarella version, I will certainly buy it. I quit eating hot pockets a long time ago but until something like this comes along, I could always put my hot pockets in the oven instead.

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