Reader Sandra weighs in on the aging of sweets:
Today you say ‘Or maybe it’s simply that “ripe” fruitcakes just taste better than young ones.’ I don’t know about fruitcakes, but brandy balls/rum balls (etc.) most *definitely* improve with age. I remember making some with my roommate a good many years ago (no, I don’t still have them :-)), and tasting the dough before wrapping them and setting them aside. The raw, almost burning flavor was rather unpleasant. Several weeks later, however, they were delicious.