Even if you've never eaten an Auntie Anne's pretzel, you've no doubt been intoxicated by the smell of hot, buttery, doughy goodness wafting out of the kiosks in shopping malls or airports. It's a smell that makes me instantly hungry, a smell that threatens to tear down my willpower, a smell that sits on my shoulder and says, "Yessss, you deserve a warm, soft, pillowy pretzel."
Auntie Anne's recently released a line of frozen pretzel pocket sandwiches that you can make at home in the oven or in a microwave. They come in three varieties - ham & cheese, 5 cheese, and pepperoni and cheese. I used to eat soft frozen pretzels when I was a kid and already knew that the texture holds up pretty well after being frozen and reheated, so I was optimistic about these yummy looking sandwiches.
Oh, I see how it is. If I use my oven, I'm a "connoisseur" but if I use a microwave I'm "time challenged". I guess that last title is a fair one - isn't that the reason most people choose to use their microwave? Because it's faster?
Since the reason I would purchase a pre-cooked frozen food is because they're quick to prepare, I chose to heat these sandwiches using the microwave method. Ready in 90 seconds, boom.
Each box comes with two individual sandwiches. All you have to do is remove the plastic covering and place them onto a plate before microwaving.
Now we need some Nutrition Facts, right? Here ya go!
Auntie Anne's Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches - Ham & Cheese:
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Auntie Anne's Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches - Five Cheese:
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Each sandwich is 410-420 calories, so Matt and I split them as part of our lunch for a couple of days. We tried the five cheese version first. From the ingredients list, the cheeses are ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, romano, and provolone. The cheese is flavored up with herbs which are clearly visible in the oozy cheesy deliciousness that was bubbling out of the sandwich when I removed it from the microwave.
When I cut the sandwich in half I could already tell that the pretzel texture was super soft and pillowy. I got a whiff of that familiar buttery Auntie Anne's aroma with an added bit of interest from the herbs.
Taking a bite I was instantly impressed with the texture of the pretzel, considering it had been microwaved. It was so soft and buttery and delicious you guys. It had just enough of a chewy element to the crust to give it that key pretzel-like texture. The cheesy was ooey, gooey, hot, and flavorful. I loved the herby flavor and thought there was just enough cheese to not be overpowering or make the sandwich too greasy.
Oh, and you know how sometimes when you microwave a frozen bread product it gets hard or crusty as it cools? This didn't do that, and the pretzel stayed soft and lovely even after the sandwich lost heat. All in all, Auntie Anne's Five Cheese Pretzel Pocket Sandwich is really darn good. Me likey. Two fums up.
Next we tried the Ham & Cheese version, again using the microwave method. This one was also piping hot after being nuked for the recommended 90 seconds, so I let it cool for a few minutes. Having eaten many frozen Hot Pockets as a child, I've learned my lesson about digging in too soon and burning the crap out of my fingers and/or the roof of my mouth. So... let that sucker sit a minute.
The cheeses in the ham and cheese version include mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and romano. So it's basically the five cheese variety minus the ricotta and plus the ham. The plushy pretzel bun was once again the superstar - soft, slightly chewy, and just darn delicious. The natural sweetness of the ham was a nice addition to the overall flavor. My only wish is that there was a bit more ham in the filling. The balance of flavors and textures would be perfect and more sandwich-like if the pretzel-to-filling ratio was a little more even.
I'm really impressed with what Auntie Anne's has done with taking their yummy soft pretzels and putting them into a frozen form that is a very close substitute for what you'd purchase at a franchised Auntie Anne's location. These are really tasty. Give 'em a try and tell me if you agree. One box of two sandwiches retails for about $2.50.
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Auntie Anne's sent me two boxes of Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches to review. We do not accept free product or compensation in return for a fully positive review. Remember our motto: if it sucks, we'll tell ya!
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