Three goals in a devastating eight-minute first-half spell saw Aberdeen secure all three points in Dingwall despite a late rally from Ross County.
Kenny McLean and Adam Rooney hit doubles as Aberdeen piled on the misery for the Ladbrokes Premiership bottom club and moved into second.
County substitute Alex Schalk netted twice himself but it was too little, too late as Owen Coyle’s side went 13 games without victory with a 4-2 defeat.
The Staggies started brightly when Chris Eagles had an early chance when he was allowed to burst forward from midfield and launch a powerful low drive which went inches past the post from 20 yards.
They came closer when Harry Souttar beat the Aberdeen defence at a Davis Keillor-Dunn corner to launch a powerful header towards goal, forcing a fine save from Danny Rogers.
Aberdeen responded when Andrew Considine’s cross was inches away from finding Niall McGinn’s foot for a tap-in.
However the Dons killed off the game with a flurry of goals. They took the lead in the 28th minute after Considine controlled the ball on the left wing and passed to Ryan Christie in the box. He set up Kenny McLean, whose powerful shot from 15 yards deflected off County debutant Liam Fontaine into the back of the net.
Three minutes later Aberdeen were awarded a penalty when, after great interplay with Niall McGinn in the box, Christie was brought down by Tim Chow. Rooney stepped up to the spot and sent Fox the other way.
County’s defence was in meltdown and they conceded a third four minutes later when Fontaine and Ross Draper were caught unaware by McGinn’s cross from the left wing to allow Rooney to storm in between them and score from six yards.
The Staggies’ evening was summed up in the 64th minute when goalkeeper Fox was caught unaware in possession as McLean nicked the ball from his feet and ran round him before firing into the net.
County pulled one back with 13 minutes remaining when Craig Curran’s flick into the box found Schalk who fired past Rogers from six yards.
The deficit was reduced to two when Curran played provider again when another flick-on got the better of the Aberdeen defence and found Schalk onside. He drove into the box and fired a low drive past Rogers to give County hope but they were unable to threaten the goal further.