Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pecan pieces and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the banana slices and syrup and bring to a simmer. Set aside and keep warm.
Combine the flour, ground pecans, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and vanilla together slightly. Beat the milk and the 1 stick of melted butter into the egg mixture. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Stir until combined yet still slightly lumpy. In a small mixing bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently form into the batter, leaving little fluffs.
If using a Belgian waffle iron, pour 1 cup of the batter onto the grids of a preheated and lightly greased waffle iron. (Regular waffle irons will take only about 1/2 cup.) Close the lid. Do not open during cooking time. For the Belgian waffle iron, cook until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Smaller waffle irons will take 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Serve hot with the pecan and banana syrup.
Yield: 4 to 8 servings